Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Family: Acquitted cop should not return to work

Kenny Thornton | 19 May, 2017, 06:54

The AP reports that four of the jurors were in tears as they left the courtroom after the verdict.

"She's ready to get back to her life", defence attorney Shannon McMurray said.

Shelby fatally shot Crutcher, who had PCP in his system at the time of his death, after she came across his auto parked along the side of the highway.

Jurors are deliberating in the manslaughter trial of an Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man past year.

Shelby told 60 Minutes she drove past Crutcher and because of the motionless way he was standing, she thought, "Hmmm. But there's still a family that's been greatly affected, and that's the Crutchers ... just because our member here has been found to be not guilty, it in no way diminishes our heartfelt sympathy to that family".

The defense was allowed to introduce testimony showing Crutcher did not comply with officers' commands in prior incidents.

Shelby was charged in September 2016, shortly after the shooting. Instead, she gunned down Crutcher in what one officer called a "bad [shot]".

The shooting, the latest in a string of fatal shootings of unarmed African-Americans by police across the United States, led to protests and an increase in tensions in Tulsa.

They also argued that if Shelby waited to shoot, he could have theoretically killed her. Police found a vial of PCP in the SUV's door, but no weapons were found.

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Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray challenged Shelby's account, and argued that "enhanced" video footage suggests that Shelby shot Crutcher five seconds before he reached into the SUV.

Closing arguments for both the prosecution and defense ended about noon Wednesday. Rank-and-file police officers - not just in Tulsa, but in departments across the country - remain aggrieved that prosecutors brought a case against Shelby in the first place.

She's been on unpaid leave since she was charged September 22.

"Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder", Crutcher's father, Rev. Joseph Crutcher, told reporters after the verdict came down. "I've been harassed all night long by the citizens of Tulsa", she said.

But we heard others say Shelby was found not guilty because she's a cop and thinks she might be above the law. "I wonder if he's on PCP".

"This is a tough pill to swallow".

He said he flew in Wednesday evening about the time the verdict was being handed down. "Terence's hands were up, Terence was not an imminent threat, Terence did not attack her, Terence did not charge at her, Terence was not the aggressor".

They say Shelby shouldn't have received three days before giving a statement to police, and shouldn't have been allowed to watch the video before speaking with him. Shelby's manslaughter trial began on May 8, 2017.

"They walked by my brother to go check on Betty and the last few breaths of my brother's life, he laid there alone", she said. He was holding his hands above his head when he was shot. "So we are moving forward together - Tulsans from all parts of the city, police officers and everyday citizens - with a unified objective to make this a better place for all of us".

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