Officer Who Shot Terence Crutcher Is Probably Going to Prison For A Long Time (We Hope So!)
This week, the officer-involved shooting death of Tulsa, Okla. man, Terence Crutcher, sent shock waves throughout the country. Video was released of Crutcher’s encounter with police and the officer can be heard referring to Crutcher as a “big bad dude.” Crutcher was unarmed and had pulled over to the side of the road because his car stalled.
The officer who shot Crutcher was Betty Shelby and she has been charged with first-degree manslaughter. Shelby was booked and released on $50, 000 bail on Friday morning. If convicted, she faces four years to life in prison.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler was able to bring charges against Shelby rather quickly because according to the affidavit, when they reviewed the evidence, Shelby’s “fear” for her life “resulted in her unreasonable actions.” The officer is being accused of shooting Crutcher “unlawfully and unnecessarily.”
Attorney for the Crutcher family, Damario Solomon-Simmons, said in a news conference the family is “happy charges have been brought” and they are planning for a “vigorous prosecution.”
These charges are a step in the right direction and the first time an officer has been charged with the shooting death of a Black person. We can’t declare this a true victory until a conviction is brought against Shelby.
Photo Credit: Tulsa County Jail