Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Oklahoma officer says she recalled training as she shot man

An Oklahoma police sergeant testified he felt "disrespected" by the way a prosecutor announced a manslaughter charge against a white Oklahoma officer who killed an unarmed black man.

Tulsa, Oklahoma Police Officer Betty Shelby, 42, charged with first-degree manslaughter in the death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, is shown in this Tulsa County Jail booking photo in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S., September 23, 2016.

Betty Shelby leaves the courtroom following testimony in her trial in Tulsa, Okla., Friday, May 12, 2017. But Shelby has spoken of training videos she's seen about similar situations in which she's observed suspects act dangerously, which she said flashed in her mind when she encountered Crutcher and his SUV in the intersection. Prosecutors say Shelby overreacted.

Shelby said during the encounter, she thought about her training, and how she had been instructed not to let a suspect extend their arm if they're reaching into their auto, because they could potentially grab a gun.

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Shelby told police investigators that she believed Crutcher was high on PCP, a powerful hallucinogenic that can make users combative and unpredictable. Shelby's attorneys claim this explains Crutcher's erratic behavior.

The judge said on Friday, he would allow it because the district attorney called witnesses last week who said Crutcher was acting peacefully the day of the shooting.

If convicted, Shelby, faces four years to life in prison.

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