Jury acquits Tulsa cop in shooting of unarmed black man

Alvin Kelly
May 19, 2017

"She's ready to get back to her life", she said.

The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for over nine hours.

The judge told them they can only announce their verdict in court, not explain it, but said they were free to explain publicly after the trial concluded. Other law enforcement officers, including the Sheriff of Rogers County, came to Shelby's defense and supported her claim that she followed police procedure.

Shelby looked stone-faced when the verdict was read, but Crutcher's family was quickly ushered out of the courtroom sobbing and wailing.

At least four of the 12 jurors were crying as they left the courtroom and they did not look at either the family of Crutcher or Shelby.

"This is definitely a tough pill to swallow", his sister, Tiffany Crutcher, said. "No Racist Police." The demonstration was peaceful and dispersed later in the evening. The videos are partially obscured, but Crutcher appeared to reach into the auto, at which point one officer shocked him with a Taser.

Demonstrators chanted, "No Justice, No Peace" and "Hands up, don't shoot!" in the streets. Those issues are proper for a jury to consider in any case, and have nothing to do with my opinions about the Tulsa Police Department or its officers.

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The district was not aware of any students choosing to protest the Shelby verdict as of Thursday afternoon, spokeswoman Emma Garrett Nelson said.

Prosecutors said during closing arguments that Crutcher was not a threat to Shelby. Shelby, a white Oklahoma police officer, was charged with manslaughter in the shooting of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man. Shelby was found innocent Wednesday.

At that point, Shelby fired her weapon and Turnbough fired his Taser, she testified. Betty Shelby had the gun. They say he wasn't armed or combative when Shelby approached him on a street after his SUV broke down. They noted Crutcher had his hands in the air, partly confirmed by video taken from a dashboard camera and helicopter.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said the verdict does not change the fact that more work needs to be done to address racial disparities.

Demonstrators blocked a main road in downtown Tulsa for a short period of time after a police officer was found not guilty of manslaughter in the shooting of an unarmed black man.

"There's still a family that has dealt with a tragedy here, the Crutchers, and we still extend our deepest sympathies to them", he said. "When will the police change policy?" he asked.

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