Betty Shelby, the Tulsa, Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot unarmed Terence Crutcher, claims she suffered temporary hearing loss, and didn’t hear another officer tell her he was ready to deploy his Taser.
Shelby’s attorney Scott Wood spoke with Tulsa World and described Shelby’s hard hearing as an “auditory exclusion” that officers often experience when they’re in high-pressure situations. The phenomenon, as Wood further said, also caused Shelby to not realize other officers had arrived on the scene, sirens were going off or other cops were standing next to her because she was “totally focused” on Crutcher.
“She doesn’t have any recollection of that at all,” Wood said.
Shelby, a white woman, was charged with first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of 40-year-old Crutcher, who is a black man. Helicopter surveillance along with dashcam footage showed Crutcher had both his hands in the air before being shot Sept. 16. After Shelby’s first-degree manslaughter charge was announced, she turned herself in, posted her $50,000 bond and was released within 20 minutes.
The probably cause affidavit states in a nutshell Shelby’s actions only made matters worse
“Shelby reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation from a confrontation with Mr. Crutcher, who was not responding to verbal commands and was walking away from her with his hands held up, becoming emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted.
However, Wood claims Officer Shelby reacted “appropriately.”
“If you think someone has a gun, you don’t get your Taser out,” Wood said.