Tulsa cop acquitted in death to return to duty


Appearing at a morning news conference with other family members, the family's attorneys and about 25 local interfaith leaders, Tiffany Crutcher said witness testimony and evidence presented in Officer Betty Shelby's manslaughter trial revealed preferential treatment for Shelby by police investigators.

McMurray said, "When I asked her how she felt, she said 'I'm so happy, but I'm concerned for the community". Shelby's lawyers cited an autopsy that found PCP in his system at the time of his shooting, and brought up law enforcement experts who had had encounters with him dating back to 1995.

Shelby was seen running from the courthouse after the verdict. "Betty Shelby was the aggressor". McMurray said it would be unsafe for Shelby to patrol the streets again.

Protests over Crutcher's death and Shelby's verdict have been peaceful.

Shelby was arrested shortly after officials released videos of the shooting, which showed Crutcher walking on the road with his arms in the air before being shot.

The incident, which took place in September, was one of a number of police shootings of unarmed black men across the United States in recent years that have heightened concerns about possible police misconduct.

The sergeant said he was following police policy by letting Shelby watch the videos first. They chanted "no justice, no peace" and blocked traffic in an intersection during a peaceful demonstration, media reported.

The jurors also wrote a letter to Jordan asking that Shelby not be returned to patrol duty.

Shelby's attorney, Shannon McMurray, told The Associated Press on Thursday that her client is unsure she would even want to go back to the Tulsa Police Department.

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McMurray said Shelby's return to the force means "she's getting the due process she wasn't afforded when (prosecutors) jumped the gun and charged her".

The video shows Crutcher with his arms raised prior to being shot, but officers on scene noted that they believe he was on PCP, a powerful and risky drug.

Shelby testified Monday that she fired her weapon because "I feared for my life".

Marq Lewis, organizer of the local civil rights group We The People Oklahoma, said the verdict erased numerous inroads that had been made to fix a breach between law enforcement and black residents.

Tulsa has a long history of hard race relations dating back to a 1921 race riot that left about 300 black residents dead. In 2015, a poorly-trained white voluntary deputy, Robert Bates, shot and killed a black man after Bates said he mistakenly reached for his gun rather than a taser.

A Tulsa jury convicted the then-74-year-old Bates of second-degree manslaughter and he was sentenced to four years in prison.

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler pointed out that jurors deliberated carefully before delivering a verdict. An affidavit accused her of "becoming emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted".

They say he wasn't armed or combative when Shelby approached him on a street after his SUV broke down.

Many in the crowd were tearful, including Rhonda Washington, a Tulsa African American and mother of two.