Betty Shelby Found Not Guilty In The Shooting Death Of Terence Crutcher
Betty Shelby, the former Oklahoma officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher, was found not guilty of manslaughter Wednesday, (May 17) in another case involving an unarmed black man being killed by law enforcement.
The trial against 43-year-old Shelby began May 10 with prosecutors outlining how the the former Tulsa Police Department officer came in contact with Crutcher and then escalated a situation that should've remained as a routine traffic stop. According to dashcam and arial footage from a helicopter hovering above, Crutcher was seen with his hands in the air before Shelby shot Crutcher, a father of four, in the lung.
Crutcher's family was seen leaving the courtroom visibly emotional after the verdict. Tiffany Crutcher, Crutcher's twin sister, said her brother was not the threat. "Terence was not the aggressor; Betty Shelby was the aggressor," she said. "Betty Shelby had the gun. Betty Shelby was following him with his hands up."
The rest of the family expressed their disappointment in the verdict even going as far as to call the police "corrupt."
During 60 Minutes interview in April, Shelby expressed remorse for Crutcher's death but said his death was his fault. “I have sorrow that this happened, that this man lost his life but he caused the situation to occur. So in the end, he caused his own,” Shelby said.
According to the Associated Press, Shelby doubled down on blaming Crutcher for his own demise saying during the trial she maintained the training she received as an officer. "I did everything I could to stop this," she added. "Crutcher's death is his fault."
Upon learning of the verdict, many took to Twitter to voice their opinion admitting the results of the trial are disappointing but not surprising.
I'm disappointed but I wish I could say I'm surprised with the #terrencecrutcher decision. Smh
— Kevin Shea (@kevin_who328) May 18, 2017
I don't expect an unjust system to ever provide us with justice. Knowing this however doesn't stop the pain and anger. #TerrenceCrutcher
— TheAngrySociologist (@SankofaBrown) May 18, 2017
— NC Clair (@nc_clair) May 18, 2017