Another officer is acquitted for the another death of another undeserving black man. Wednesday (May 24), Tulsa’s NBC affiliate, KJRH announced that Betty Shelby of the Tulsa Police Department will return to work acting in an administrative role, rather than an actual patrol role. But, the Tulsa PD pushes the knife in the backs of Terence Crutcher’s family and black communities’ combined, and twists it as she will be granted back pay for the time that she’s been on unpaid leave since September 22.
In the fall of last year, an unarmed Crutcher was broken down on a Tulsa road, waiting for help. Four cops pursued the cooperating citizen as he walked to his car. One officer tazed him and then Shelby shot him, killing the 40-year-old man.
The only footage that has surfaced of the events were the few seconds leading up to the murder, Shelby fills in the rest to explain why she was suspicious and “fearful” of Crutcher. She detailed Crutcher as non-compliant in answering her questions about the vehicle and references Crutcher, who is black, throwing his hands in the air after being approached by a Caucasian armed police officer “strange.” The irony. She had her gun out in defense mode because she was the only officer present for the few minutes, and believed Crutcher was armed.
An alternate-angle recording was provided by overhead police officers. It can be hear, “I have a feeling what’s about to happen,” and “that looks like a bad dude, too.”
The nature of the case is oddly reminiscent of the 2012 travesty involving Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, which landmarked the entire Black Lives Matter movement. George Zimmerman’s stalking and hate-filled execution of the young teen was also acquitted due to the “Stand Your Ground” law. With a legal system that’s built on the idea that someone of fairer skin to be found innocent of murder based on a “perceived threat” from an actually innocent individual of darker skin, unnecessary homicides are given an avenue to continue to prevail.
Tulsa providing Terence Crutcher’s shooter with back pay for the time she spent without salary during the investigation and trial confirms that, as the late Michael Jackson would say, “they don’t really care about us.” A post-tax and other deductions lump sum of more than $35,000 is currently being processed to Shelby’s bank account as a “reward” for killing an unarmed citizen and perpetuating an ugly and fatal trend.