The criminal charges against Betty were politically motivated in my opinion. It’s really good news that she beat the rap.
TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby was found not guilty of manslaughter by a jury Wednesday evening.
The jury deliberated for more than nine hours.
Shelby was charged with felony manslaughter last September after shooting an unarmed black man.
She testified she shot Terence Crutcher, 40, because he was acting bizarrely and failed to obey commands.
But prosecutors said in arrest filings that Shelby “reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation” into a fatal encounter.
The incident began when a witness called 911, and said a man was running away from a vehicle found abandoned in the middle of the road.
According to the witness, the man, Crutcher, kept saying the vehicle was going to blow up.
Shelby said once on scene, she cleared the vehicle and did not see anyone inside.
As she turned back to her patrol car, she said she saw Crutcher walking towards her.
She says Crutcher did not obey her commands when she told him to “show me your hands.”
She also testified that Crutcher put his hands on the vehicle and moved to reach into the vehicle.
That’s when Shelby fired her weapon at Crutcher, and the officer next to her, Officer Tyler Turnbough, tased him.
An autopsy revealed PCP was found in Crutcher’s system at the time of the shooting.
During cross-examination, Shelby said even though she noticed Crutcher smelled like PCP chemicals, she had forgotten to mention it in her interrogation interview.
“In spite of anything that Terence may have done in his past that may have a negative turn to it, it does not justify murder,” said Dr. Rodney Goss with Morning Star Baptist Church. “It doesn’t matter; she didn’t have a toxicology report when she murdered him. She didn’t know about anything in his past when she murdered him.”
Betty was of course fired from her police officer’s job, but at least she walks out of court a free woman.