Tulsa Officer Charged With Manslaughter In Death Of Terence Crutcher
Tulsa District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler has charged officer Betty Shelby with first-degree manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher, and has issued a warrant for her arrest.
Shelby was the first officer on the scene after Terence Crutcher's SUV apparently stalled last week on 36th Street North in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Videos released by the Tulsa Police Department showed the incident, which ended with Shelby firing a single shot that fatally wounding Crutcher. Arrangements have been made for Shelby to surrender.
Scott Wood, Shelby's lawyer, stated that his client discharged her weapon because she believed Crutcher was reaching into his vehicle for a weapon. However, lawyers for Crutcher's family have challenged this account, displaying photos showing that the windows of Crutcher's SUV had been rolled up.
In a statement given earlier this week, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Crutcher was unarmed, and no gun was found in his vehicle.
Regarding charging Officer Shelby, Kunzweiler said, "Officer Shelby, although she is now charged, is presumed innocent until a judge or jury determines otherwise." He then continued, “I don’t know why things happen in this world the way they do."