Jury Acquits Tulsa Police Officer in Fatal Shooting of Black Man

Betty Jo Shelby

A jury in Tulsa, Oklahoma, acquitted a police officer in the shooting of an unarmed black man.

The family of Terence Crutcher burst into tears after jurors found officer Betty Jo Shelby not guilty of first-degree manslaughter in the Sept. 16 shooting.

Shelby said she fired her weapon out of fear when Crutcher didn't obey her commands to lie on the ground and then appeared to reach inside his SUV for what she thought was a gun. Crutcher was unarmed.

An attorney for Shelby later said that she believed Crutcher was under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. Shelby, a former deputy for the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, had previously completed drug-recognition expert training, according to a report by NBC News.

A toxicology report revealed that Crutcher was on two hallucinogenic drugs, including PCP, during the encounter. 

Crutcher's family called the verdict a disappointment and accused the police department of being "corrupt."

"I don't know what was in the mind of the jury, how they could come to that conclusion...You did your job, but I'm wondering what you were thinking about," said Dr. Terry Crutcher, the father of the victim.


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