Tulsa officer who fatally shot Terrence Crutcher charged with first degree murder

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By Peter Holley, washingtonpost.com

The white Tulsa, Okla., police officer captured on video fatally shooting an unarmed black man on a city street will face first-degree manslaughter charges, according to news reports.

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges against officer Betty Shelby on Thursday, a full six days after multiple cameras showed her shooting 40-year-old Terrence Crutcher as he stood beside his stalled sport-utility vehicle. Moments earlier, cameras had captured Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his hands in the air.

“I do not know why things happen in this world the way they do,” Kunzweiler said, according to the Associated Press. “We need to pray for wisdom and guidance.”

“The tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Crutcher are on the hearts and minds of many people in this community,” he added. “It’s important to note that despite the heightened tensions felt by all, which seemingly beg for an emotional response and reaction, our community has consistently demonstrated the willingness to respect the judicial process.”

If convicted, Shelby could face a minimum of four years in prison.

Video shows Crutcher walking toward his vehicle with his hands above his head while several officers follow closely behind him with weapons raised. He lingers at his vehicle’s driver’s side window, his body facing the SUV, before slumping to the ground a second later.

“Shots fired!” a female voice can be heard yelling.

Tulsa police say Crutcher did not have a gun on him or in his vehicle.

After Crutcher is hit, footage shows his limp body lying on the roadway beside his vehicle. Officers appear to wait more than 2½ minutes before approaching Crutcher while he bleeds in the street.

The footage does not offer a clear view of when Shelby fired the single shot that killed Crutcher. Her attorney has said Crutcher was not following police commands and that Shelby opened fire when the man began to reach into his SUV window.

Shelby’s attorney, Scott Wood, told the Tulsa World that Shelby opened fire and another officer used a stun gun when Crutcher’s “left hand goes through the car window.”

Read more at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/09/22/tulsa-officer-who-fatally-shot-terrence-crutcher-charged-with-first-degree-manslaughter/?utm_term=.3a3ca41fe10a

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