Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Jury acquits Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby

Jury acquits Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby

The shooting, which was captured on video, went viral and stirred controversy nationally a year ago.

In April, Shelby told "60 Minutes" that Crutcher displayed "zombie-like" behavior when she first encountered him.

Outside the courthouse, a crowd of about 100 had gathered. But we do know that even before that, the police were assuming that Crutcher was a "bad dude".

Tulsa has a long history of hard race relations dating back to a 1921 race riot that left about 300 black residents dead.

After calling dispatch to send another officer to that initial domestic call, she approached the vehicle, and glanced in the window but saw no one, she said. "Our thoughts and prayers should be with the Terence Crutcher and Betty Shelby families during this hard time".

According to Shelby and fellow officers, Crutcher refused to comply with Officer Shelby's directives and was reaching inside his SUV at the time of the shooting.

Tiffany Crutcher said: "Betty Shelby murdered my brother and after she murdered my brother the Tulsa police department covered up for her".

The Tulsa police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man previous year was found not guilty of first-degree manslaughter late Wednesday.

Defense Attorney Shannon McMurray told the news station that Shelby is "elated and very proud of her jury" and is ready to get back to her life.

"I did everything I could to stop this", she said.

Shelby said that she fired out of fear when she killed Crutcher, who had his hands above his head.

The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for just over nine hours Wednesday.

The shooting was among a string of highly publicized officer-involved shooting deaths of African American across the U.S.in recent years.

The jury got the case shortly after noon Wednesday. "Our thoughts and prayers should be with the Terence Crutcher and Betty Shelby families during this hard time".

Shelby could spend between four years to life in prison if she's convicted.

He's worked closely with Police Chief Chuck Jordan, also white, who won praise for the quick release of video of the Crutcher shooting from police dashboard and helicopter cameras.

Defense attorney McMurray argued that prosecutors rushed to charge Shelby for political reasons, fearing civil unrest like the angry street protests that erupted in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott four days after Crutcher was killed. Tulsa police have said Crutcher was unarmed and there was no weapon in his vehicle.

The family of an unarmed black man killed by a white Oklahoma police officer has called on Tulsa city leadership to block the officer from returning to her job. He alternated between putting his hands in his pockets and putting them in the air, Shelby said.

On September 16, 2016, Crutcher's SUV was found stalled in the middle of the street. He didn't have one on him or in the vehicle.

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