October 18, 2017

Tulsa officer acquitted of fatally shooting an unarmed black man submits resignation

15 July 2017, 06:02 | Taylor George

Betty Shelby, cop who fatally shot Terence Crutcher, resigns from Tulsa police department

Betty Shelby, officer acquitted of manslaughter in shooting of Terence Crutcher, resigns

Betty Shelby, the Tusla police officer acquitted for fatally shooting an unarmed black man, resigned from the force Friday.

Officer Betty Shelby was acquitted in May of manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher.

Officer Betty Shelby's resignation is effective August 3, according to a news release from the Tulsa branch of a national police union.

Shelby has been at TPD in that capacity since being reinstated in late May.

The officer was on patrol on September 16 2016 when she shot Mr Crutcher next to his SUV, which was stopped in the middle of the road.

At trial, Shelby said she suspected Crutcher was under the influence of drugs, and feared for her life.

Shelby was on patrol that night and claimed she shot the 40-year-old father because she thought he was reaching for a gun, although police footage shows Crutcher had his hands in the air.

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I am proud to have had the privilege to call myself a Tulsa Police Officer. She says she is praying for healing for Crutcher's family and the community.

In May, after nine hours of deliberation, a Tulsa jury found Shelby not guilty in Crutcher's shooting death, further enraging the community as well as Crutcher's loved ones. Police Chief Chuck Jordan put her in an administrative role May 19, two days after her acquittal.

"She's just not meant to do a desk job", McMurray said.

Prosecutors told jurors that Ms Shelby overreacted, noting that videos from a patrol vehicle dashboard and a police helicopter showed Mr Crutcher had his hands in the air.

The jury foreman's letter, which was entered into the court record, said that while the jury agreed that using force in the situation she was placed in was warranted, they believed that using a taser on Crutcher 'could have saved his life'.

Crutcher's family, in the meantime, is still seeking justice and has filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages as well as widespread reform within the Police Department. The city has yet to fully heal from a 1921 race riot that killed 300 black residents and burned down a thriving business district.

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