The NAACP Legal Defense Fund Wants To Prohibit Betty Shelby From Her Speaking Engagement
In September 2016, officer Betty Jo Shelby shot and killed unarmed Terence Crutcher on the side of an Oklahoma road. Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter and nine months after the killing was found not guilty of her crime.
Shelby then returned to the force and received back pay. Now, two years removed from killing Crutcher, Shelby has launched a speaking tour titled "Surviving the Aftermath of a Critical Incident."
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is now trying to block Shelby's next speaking engagement.
According to reports, a letter was sent Friday (Oct. 9) to the Southeastern Homicide Investigators Association in which the NAACP LDF says " to share with a national audience of law enforcement personnel how Deputy Shelby ‘survived; the consequences of a homicide that she committed is inconsistent with the purported work of SEHIA members pursuing justice for homicide victims and their families. Deputy Shelby is not a victim of Mr. Crutcher’s homicide. The late Mr. Crutcher and his survivors are the victims. Deputy Shelby’s subsequent acquittal on manslaughter charges is not an exoneration of her decision to kill an unarmed man that day, as the comments of the jurors following her trial make clear.”
Crutcher's murder was the latest in a string of black and brown men killed by members of white law enforcement. After his death, which was caught on video by helicopter cam, many took to the street to march in protest.
Shelby's next speaking engagement is slated for Baton Rouge, La. And while the Southern Homicide Investigators Association has yet to respond to the Legal Defense Fund's letters, however, Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton, where Shelby now works says her perspective is "valuable."