Jury acquits Tulsa cop in shooting of unarmed black man


The white police officer who fatally shot Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man whose vehicle stalled in the middle of the road in Tulsa, Oklahoma a year ago, was found not guilty of first-degree murder on Wednesday evening.

A lawyer for Shelby said the officer was "elated" that the jury found her not guilty.

As you can imagine, Crutcher's family was crushed by the verdict and called the police department "corrupt".

The city's mayor, during a gingerly worded news conference Thursday, said racial disparity remains Tulsa's worst problem, and that healing the rift between law enforcement and the minority community will be a top priority.

Despite video footage showing Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his hands visibly in the arm, the officer said she feared for her life.

"If a reasonable police officer in that situation would not have perceived such a threat, then the shooting was not legally justified", explained Stinson.

"The list just goes on and on of unarmed black men getting killed by white police officers and they get away with it", attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents the family, told reporters.

Prosecutors have said there was no reason for Shelby to fire on a man who was walking away from her.

Tiffany Crutcher center the twin sister of Terence Crutcher talks with the media as she leaves the courtroom in the trial of Tulsa police office Betty Jo Shelby in Tulsa Okla. Wednesday
Jury acquits Tulsa cop in shooting of unarmed black man

Prosecutors told jurors that Ms Shelby overreacted. "As a community we feel great pain for the Crutcher family", Bynum said.

The shooting was among a string of highly publicized officer-involved shooting deaths of African American across the U.S.in recent years. "Although Mr. Crutcher was wearing baggy clothes, Officer Shelby was not able to see any weapons or bulges indicating and [sic] weapon was present".

Shelby could spend between four years to life in prison if she's convicted. Shelby had also claimed she believed Crutcher to be under the influence of drugs.

Terence Crutcher was fatally shot by police Officer Betty Shelby. "And I believe that all those officers involved, they're going to be held accountable because this family right here, we believe in a higher power, we believe in a higher judge", she said. As Shelby approached the scene, she found Crutcher wandering around near the vehicle, rambling incoherently and placing his hands in his pockets, despite numerous warnings not to do so.

A murderer was found not guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher, and I was a fool to hope for anything resembling justice in this case.

Shannon McMurray, left, and Scott Wood, defense attorneys for Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby, leave the courtroom following a motion in Tulsa, Okla., Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

Shortly after the initial reaction set in, it appeared that Tulsa County Sheriff's deputies and a crowd of protesters tensely squared off on the west side of the courthouse, but the moment was brief.

Her attorneys said Shelby shot Crutcher because she thought he was reaching into his SUV for a gun.

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