Subscribe to Here’s the Deal, our politics
newsletter for analysis you won’t find anywhere else.
Thank you. Please check your inbox to confirm.
Leave your feedback
The Oklahoma police officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher in Tulsa on Sept. 16 has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, prosecutors announced Thursday.
According to the Associated Press, District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges against officer Betty Shelby who fatally shot the 40-year-old black man. Tulsa’s police chief, Chuck Jordan, said earlier this week that Crutcher was unarmed and a weapon wasn’t found in his vehicle. Shelby is white.
After reviewing the evidence, Kunzweiler said he felt the manslaughter charge against Shelby was “warranted.”
“Officer Shelby, although now charged, is presumed to be innocent under the law until a judge or jury determines otherwise,” he added.
Shelby faces at least four years in prison, if convicted, Tulsa World reported.
The Tulsa Police Department released dash cam and helicopter footage on Monday that captured the shooting, after first showing the encounter to the Crutcher’s family and select community members over the weekend.
Officers had discovered Crutcher and his stalled SUV in the middle of a road, police spokeswoman Jeanne MacKenzie said on Saturday. Crutcher failed to comply with officers orders as they approached him, she added. Footage showed Crutcher raising his hands and then placing them on the SUV as officers encircled him.
A Taser was deployed, followed by a single shot by Shelby when Crutcher reached inside his vehicle, police officials said. Views of these crucial moments are obscured in the footage released by police.
“The videos don’t show what happened when Shelby first encountered Crutcher and the roughly two minutes that follow before other officers arrived,” Tulsa World reported.
Crutcher was later pronounced dead the same day at a local hospital.
Dash cam footage shows the fatal police shooting of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. WARNING: Video contains graphic footage. Viewer discretion is advised. Video by Tulsa World
READ MORE: Tulsa police release graphic footage of fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher
Joshua Barajas is a senior editor for the PBS NewsHour's Communities Initiative. He also the senior editor and manager of newsletters.
Support Provided By: