Tulsa County’s district attorney announced today that Betty Shelby, the officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher, has been charged in his death. Charges have been filed for first-degree manslaughter.
The 40-year-old black man was shot Friday afternoon during a traffic stop. Dash-cam footage and a video feed from the helicopter showed Crutcher had his hands in the air before Shelby shot him.
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Officer Shelby claims that she suspected Chutcher was high on PCP, but no other convincing rational for the shooting has been released.
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges after his office looked into the matter. The video footage doesn’t provide a clear view of exactly what happened. Crutcher reached into the open window of his SUV, and Shelby and another officer (who fired his taser) both felt threatened.
News of Shelby’s charges comes as Black Lives Matter protests gear up for another night of protests. Tuesday’s protests in Charlotte were violent and marked by tear gas and looting.
Protests Wednesday night were so chaotic that the Governor declared a state of emergency, which allowed him to request assistance from the North Carolina State Patrol and the National Guard.
The protests in Charlotte were in response to the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott. After reports that the “gun” police said he was carrying were refuted by his family, the protests erupted in the the streets.
This latest spate of racial tension and civil unrest has even been noted by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Trump, who–until this point–has been steadfastly on the side of law enforcement, came out with harsh criticism of Shelby and the shooting in Tulsa.
“I must tell you, I watched the shooting in particular in Tulsa and that man was hands up, that man went to the car — hands up — put his hand on the car. To me, it looked like he did everything you’re supposed to do,” Trump said. “And he looked like a really good man — and maybe I’m a little clouded because I saw his family talking about him after the fact … but he looked like somebody who was doing what they were asking him to do.”