Betty Shelby, the Tulasa., OK officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher last September broke her silence Sunday, (April 2) and said while she’s hurt about the ordeal, Crutcher’s death is actually 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.
During a 60 Minutes interview with CBS reporter Bill Whitaker, Shelby said race had nothing to do with why she shot the 40-year-old who was experiencing car troubles. Instead, it was his “zombie-like” behavior that caused the fatal encounter. “He’s standing there motionless and I thought, ‘Hmmm. I wonder if he’s on PCP,’ ” Autopsy reports would later conclude there was PCP in Crutcher’s system.
Shelby, who faces first-degree manslaughter charges was released from prison 20 minutes after posting a $50,000 bond last year, the Tulsa World reports. Initially, Shelby’s lawyer Scott Wood said she experienced “auditory exclusion” at the time of the shooting, which as Wood explained is an occurrence that takes place during high pressure situations. Wood alleges because of the auditory exclusion, Shelby had no recollection that other officers arrived on the scene.
Shelby encountered Crutcher while checking on a abandoned car, and said he refused to adhere to her commands to stand down. It was then Shelby surmised Crutcher was armed and fired. The shooting proved especially heart wrenching as footage was captured from a helicopter above as well as a police car dashcam. The roadside killing of Crutcher, who was unarmed and shot with his hands in the air sparked protests in Oklahoma as well as around the country echoing the sentiments of other young black and brown men and women killed by law enforcement.
Crutcher’s sister Tiffany said she knew about the prominent deaths of other black men but never assumed her brother would be mentioned in the same breath.
“I saw Trayvon Martin. I saw Mike Brown. I saw Philando Castile. You know, I saw Tamir Rice,” Crutcher’s sister told “60 Minutes.” “But never in a thousand years would my family, would we have thought that we would be on their side of it. And my brother now, according to social media, is another hashtag.”