Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Jury acquits Tulsa police officer in shooting of unarmed black man

Jury acquits Tulsa police officer in shooting of unarmed black man

A group of protesters block Denver Ave. near the Tulsa County Courthouse following the not guilty verdict in Betty Jo Shelby's manslaughter trial in Tulsa, Okla., on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

In a statement after Betty Jo Shelby was acquitted of manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher, Fallin said: "Those who disagree with the verdict have the right to express their opinions". "I'm told in my training that you don't let them pull their arm back out", Shelby said. They chanted: "No Justice, No Peace. No Racist Police." A smaller group later briefly blocked a major downtown road but dispersed peacefully.

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

A slew of witnesses on both sides have asserted that Shelby acted within her training, but Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray has implied that the training provided to officers on when to use force is as much at issue as what he called Shelby's "wrong" perception of Crutcher's behavior and intentions.

According to the Tulsa World, Tiffany Crutcher said her brother was murdered and the Tulsa Police Department tried to cover it up.

Jurors will begin deliberations in the manslaughter trial of Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby on Wednesday after the defense rested its case Tuesday afternoon. Walker's testimony for the defense, though brief, served to underscore his disagreement with the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office's decision to charge Shelby in the September 16 shooting death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher. She also said that in the video of the shooting, the officers appeared to be more concerned for Shelby than for Crutcher, as he lay wounded.

Prosecutors said in arrest filings that Shelby "reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation" into a fatal encounter.

A jury has acquitted of first-degree manslaughter a white Oklahoma police officer who said she fired out of fear previous year when she killed an unarmed black man with his hands held above his head.

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The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office said that Crutcher had 96 nanograms per milliliter of the hallucinogenic drug PCP in his bloodstream at the time of his death.

The jury got the case shortly after noon Wednesday.

"Do you obviously believe Officer Shelby is a trigger-happy woman when she has never fired her gun before in over 11 years?"

The 43-year-old officer, who pleaded not guilty to first-degree manslaughter, could spend four years to life in prison if she's convicted.

Expert Defense Witness David Klinger testified that it was appropriate for Shelby to shoot Crutcher, given that she had an "informed hypothesis" that he was a threat to her. According to the Tulsa World, some of the group then marched down the street to the hotel where they believed Shelby was staying. There was no gun in the vehicle.

Jurors are to hear closing arguments Wednesday in the manslaughter trial of a white Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man previous year. He alternated between putting his hands in his pockets and putting them in the air, Shelby said.

Shelby's attorneys have said Crutcher refused Shelby's commands to lie down during a two-minute period before police cameras recorded the shooting.

He didn't have one on him or in the vehicle.

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