The Crusader Newspaper Group

White Tulsa officer is acquitted in fatal shooting of Black driver

By Lucia Walinchus and Richard Pérez-Peña,

Jurors on Wednesday found a white police officer not guilty in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man last year, one in a string of law enforcement killings of black men that have prompted a national debate about race relations and the use of force.

Like several other recent cases, the trial of Officer Betty Jo Shelby in the death of Terence Crutcher demonstrated both the increased pressure to hold officers responsible for using lethal force and the difficulty of convicting them of a crime.

The Tulsa County District Court jury of eight women and four men, including at least four black jurors, deliberated for about nine hours before finding Officer Shelby not guilty of manslaughter.

Shannon McMurray, Officer Shelby’s lawyer, said late Wednesday that her client was overwhelmed and would make a full statement in the morning. “She is elated,” Ms. McMurray said. “We all are. It’s a true and just verdict.”


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