Betty Shelby: Charged with Manslaughter in Terence Crutcher Shooting

by at .

Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer Betty Shelby has been charged manslaughter in the first-degree for fatally shooting Terence Crutcher.

Authorities say that she shot and killed the unarmed man, and Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler confirmed the charges.

"In the matter of the death of Terence Crutcher," he said.

"I determine that the filing of the felony crime of manslaughter in the first-degree against the Tulsa Police officer Betty Shelby is warranted."

Betty Shelby

Kunzweiler said a warrant was issued for Shelby's arrest and that she planned to surrender to officials, according to the Tulsa World.

She did, and was released on $50,000 bond shortly.

Shelby's attorney, Scott Wood, has said Shelby feared for her life before the controversial shooting occurred, given Crutcher's behavior.

Kunzweiler's office noted that Shelby is presumed innocent under the law, however, authorities believe she should stand trial for this.

Why? Officials believe she "reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation from a confrontation with Mr. Crutcher," the World claims.

Crutcher "was not responding to verbal commands and was walking away from her with his hands held up," the report states.

Terence Crutcher

At that stage, both were "emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted," according to the World, and Crutcher, 40, was killed.

He was shot killed Friday night in the Oklahoma city.

The incident was caught on police helicopter video and a dashboard camera, and footage of the tragic shooting was released Monday.

The latest in a high-profile string of unarmed police shootings in recent years, the death of Crutcher immediately sparked a wave of protests.

Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said officer Tyler Turnbough Tasered Crutcher shortly before a second officer - Betty Shelby - shot him.

She told a dispatcher right beforehand that Crutcher was not cooperating, Jordan said; Crutcher had no weapon on him or in his SUV.

Jordan called video footage of the incident "disturbing" and said Monday that "I will make this promise to you, we will achieve justice."

Shelby reportedly across Crutcher while on her way to another call. She requested police back up, saying that Crutcher was not cooperating.

In footage of the shooting, an officer aboard a helicopter above can be heard saying, "He's got his hands up there for her now."

"This guy is still walking and following commands." 

From the video, it is not clear what orders police may have given Crutcher before he was killed, and again, Shelby is presumed innocent.

Show Comments