Advertisement

UPDATE: Arrangements underway for Tulsa cop's surrender

(KOSA)
Published: Sep. 20, 2016 at 5:40 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Latest on the death of an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma (all times local):

6:25 p.m.

A former federal prosecutor says prosecutors in Tulsa were right to swiftly charge a white police officer with first-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.

Chicago-based defense attorney Phil Turner says prosecutors -- in his words -- "must have thought charges were warranted and we can always upgrade the charge later."

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed a first-degree manslaughter charge Thursday against officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16.

Turner says prosecutors may have been motivated to move quickly in part to allay outrage and avoid the kind of street protests that have happened in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Police there have refused under mounting pressure to release video of the shooting of another black man this week. The National Guard has been called in to try to head off a third night of violence.

6:00 p.m.

The twin sister of an unarmed black man shot and killed by a Tulsa police officer says her family is pleased the officer has been charged with a crime.

Tiffany Crutcher spoke to reporters outside the Tulsa County Courthouse on Thursday after officer Betty Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of her brother, Terence Crutcher.

Shelby faces between four years and life in prison if convicted.

Tiffany Crutcher says while the family is grateful charges have been filed, they want to make sure the district attorney vigorously prosecutes the case and obtains a conviction.

Tiffany Crutcher says she hopes a criminal conviction will help bring an end to the killing of innocent citizens by police.

5:25 p.m.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says she hopes a first-degree manslaughter charge against a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man provides some peace to the man's family and to the people of Tulsa.

In a statement Thursday, Fallin complimented Tulsa's police chief, mayor, district attorney and citizens for helping to keep peace and order "during this difficult time."

Fallin also urged Tulsa residents to be patient as the case works its way through the justice system and noted that officer Betty Shelby is innocent until proven guilty.

Shelby was responding to an unrelated call when she came across Terence Crutcher's vehicle abandoned in the middle of a north Tulsa street on Sept. 16.

5:05 p.m.

At least two dozen protesters have gathered outside the Tulsa County courthouse after the district attorney charged a white officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man with first-degree manslaughter.

Protesters who gathered Thursday said they're unhappy that officer Betty Shelby wasn't charged with first-degree murder in the Sept. 16 death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher. They held signs reading, "I can't breathe," "Black Lives Matter," and "Am I Next." Some cars honked as they drove past the peaceful protest.

Shelby was responding to an unrelated call when she came across Crutcher's vehicle abandoned in the middle of a north Tulsa street.

Video released by police showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air.

5:00 p.m.

Tulsa County prosecutors allege in court documents that a white police officer "reacted unreasonably" when she fatally shot an unarmed black man and that she unnecessarily escalated the situation.

In an affidavit filed with a first-degree manslaughter charge on Thursday against officer Betty Shelby, an investigator wrote that Shelby became "emotionally involved to the point that she over reacted" when she shot and killed Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16.

Shelby faces between four years and life in prison if convicted.

Shelby told investigators she feared for her life and thought Crutcher was going to kill her.

Shelby was responding to an unrelated call when she came across Crutcher's vehicle abandoned in the middle of a north Tulsa street.

Video released by police showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air.

4:40 p.m.

The mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is commending police and prosecutors for their quick handling of the investigation into the death of an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett made his comments Thursday shortly after the Tulsa County district attorney announced he was charging officer Betty Shelby with first-degree manslaughter in the Sept. 16 death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher.

Bartlett said -- in his words -- "These are important steps to ensure that justice and accountability prevails."

Video released by police showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air.

Bartlett promised authorities would "continue to be transparent and ensure the system carries out its responsibility to provide justice."

3:45 p.m.

A prosecutor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, says arrangements are being made for the surrender of a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on a city street.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed a first-degree manslaughter charge Thursday against officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16. Dashcam and aerial footage of the shooting and its aftermath showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air.

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.

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

3:35 p.m.

Prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have filed first-degree manslaughter charges against the white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on a city street.

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges Thursday against officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16. Dashcam and aerial footage of the shooting and its aftermath showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air.

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.

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

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.)


Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Latest on a Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer's fatal shooting of an unarmed man (all times local):

7:20 a.m.

The family of Terence Crutcher is "hoping that America will open their eyes" to issues of police violence and racism after the unarmed black man was fatally shot by a white police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Speaking Wednesday on CNN's "New Day," Tiffany Crutcher urged leaders to put systems in place to avoid something similar from happening again.

Police say Tulsa officer Betty Shelby fatally shot Crutcher while responding to a report of a stalled vehicle last week. Shelby's attorney says Crutcher was not following officers' commands and that Shelby felt threatened, though authorities say Crutcher did not have a gun on him or in his vehicle.

Crutcher's father, the Rev. Joey Crutcher, told CNN that if the situation was reversed and his son was the shooter, "Terence would have been charged immediately."

3:40 a.m.

The unarmed black man shot dead in the middle of a Tulsa street last week by a white police officer had run-ins with the law dating back to his teenage years and had recently served a four-year stint in prison.

But those closest to the 40-year-old victim, Terence Crutcher, described him as a church-going father who was beginning to turn his life around.

Crutcher's family could not be reached for comment on his criminal record. But an attorney for his family, Benjamin Crump, said the information should not be used to "demonize" Crutcher.

The Friday shooting was captured by police video, though it's not clear from that footage what led Tulsa officer Betty Shelby to draw her gun or what orders officers gave Crutcher.

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016

6:50 p.m.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is urging Tulsa residents to remain calm as authorities investigate a white police officer's fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.

In a series of tweets Tuesday, Fallin described video of Terence Crutcher's shooting as "troubling" and says her thoughts and prayers are with Crutcher's family.

Fallin also said Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan has assured transparency and fairness in the department's investigation, and that Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler needs time to review the evidence in the case.

About 200 protesters gathered Tuesday evening outside the Tulsa Police Department. Many chanted "Fire Betty," in reference to officer Betty Shelby, who fatally shot Crutcher on Friday night after responding to a report of a stalled vehicle.

6 p.m.

San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick says the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in Tulsa is "the perfect example" of what he's protesting when he refuses to stand for the national anthem at 49ers' games.

Kaepernick said Tuesday that "everybody's eyes" will be on Tulsa as authorities investigate the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher. He says criminal charges should be filed in the shooting death.

The backup quarterback says he's received death threats through social media and other avenues since he began to protest during the national anthem last month.

Tulsa Police say officer Betty Shelby fatally shot Crutcher on Friday as she was responding to a report of a stalled vehicle.

4:45 p.m.

The Tulsa police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man last week faced no disciplinary actions, and records show she only used force in one instance while working for the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.

Officer Betty Shelby worked four years at the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office until she joined the city police force in 2011. According to Tulsa County Deputy Justin Green, Shelby's use of force incident happened when she was serving a warrant on a suspect in 2010.

The report says Shelby and other deputies drew their weapons — but did not fire them — as they searched for the suspect.

Tulsa police say Shelby fatally shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher last Friday while responding to a report of a stalled vehicle.

4 p.m.

A police spokesman says Tulsa, Oklahoma, officers found the drug PCP in the vehicle of an unarmed black man who was shot to death by a white officer last week.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker confirmed to the Tulsa World that investigators recovered a vial of PCP in Terence Crutcher's SUV. Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby fatally shot Crutcher on Friday while responding to a report of a stalled vehicle.

Police say Crutcher did not have a gun on him or in his vehicle, and video footage of the shooting showed him walking toward his SUV with his hands in the air.

At a press conference Tuesday, attorneys representing Crutcher's family said they did not know whether drugs were in Crutcher's vehicle. But attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons said even if drugs were present, Shelby still had no justification for shooting the man because Crutcher did not pose a threat.

2:40 p.m.

A police spokesman says the Oklahoma officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man had a stun gun at the time but did not use it.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Shane Tuell tells The Associated Press that officer Betty Shelby was certified on the use of stun guns. Police say Shelby fatally shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Friday while responding to a report of a stalled vehicle.

Police say Crutcher did not have a weapon on him or in his SUV.

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."

But at a press conference Tuesday, attorneys representing Crutcher's family provided an enlarged photo of the police footage that appeared to show that Crutcher's window was up at the time of the shooting.

1 p.m.

The mother-in-law of a white Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man says her daughter-in-law is grieving for the victim's family and isn't prejudiced.

Lois Shelby told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday that Tulsa officer Betty Shelby "thought she had to protect her own life" when she fatally shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher last week.

Dozens of protesters have called for Shelby's immediate arrest for her role in Crutcher's shooting Friday, and at least one other protest is planned Tuesday to call for charges against her. Shelby has been on paid leave since the shooting.

Lois Shelby, a retired schoolteacher, says Betty Shelby always wanted to become a police officer.

Betty Shelby declined to comment to The Associated Press on Tuesday and referred all calls to her attorney.

12 p.m.

A rally is planned for Tuesday night in Tulsa calling for the arrest of a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man.

We the People Oklahoma will hold a "protest for justice" at 6 p.m. at Tulsa's Civic Center Plaza over Friday's shooting death of Terence Crutcher.

The social justice group previously led a petition drive calling for a grand jury investigation into the April 2015 shooting death of Eric Harris. In that case, a grand jury indicted then-Sheriff Stanley Glanz on misdemeanor charges, and the volunteer deputy who shot Harris, Robert Bates, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter.

On Monday, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said his office will review police reports and evidence from Crutcher's shooting to determine whether charges should be filed against Tulsa officer Betty Shelby. The prosecutor called Crutcher's death "a tragic event" but declined further comment on the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

7:15 a.m.

An attorney representing a white Tulsa police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man says his client opened fire after the man reached through the window of his SUV.

Dashcam and aerial footage showing Officer Betty Shelby's shooting of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Friday doesn't offer a clear angle leading up to the shooting, but Crutcher's hands are in the air. Tulsa police say Crutcher didn't have a gun.

Shelby's attorney, Scott Wood, says the encounter unfolded for about 2 minutes before the video footage begins. Shelby didn't activate her patrol car's dashcam.

Wood tells the Tulsa World that Shelby says Crutcher repeatedly ignored officers' commands. He says Shelby opened fire and another officer used a stun gun when Crutcher's "left hand goes through the car window."

State and federal investigations into the shooting death are underway. Shelby is on paid administrative leave.

5:40 a.m.

TULSA, Okla. (AP/WRDW/WAGT) — The Tulsa Police Department has released the names of two police officers involved in the shooting death of a man on a city street.

Police on Sunday said Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher and Officer Tyler Turnbough fired a stun gun at Crutcher.

Shelby is on paid leave while the shooting is under investigation. Police previously said the fatal shot came after the stun gun was fired.

Police have said Crutcher was shot on Friday, Sept. 20 when he refused orders to put up his hands and instead reached inside his SUV, which was stopped in the street.

Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Monday that officers found no weapon on Crutcher or in his vehicle.

About three-dozen protesters gathered Monday outside the county courthouse to call for police reforms. Supporters held signs reading, "Justice 4 Crutch" and "Relationships Matter." One young boy held up a sign that read "Don't Shoot."

A lawyer for the family, Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons, says the video of the shooting is so disturbing that it kept him awake at night. He says Crutcher "died on that street by himself in his own blood without any help."

American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel says Terence Crutcher's death on Friday shows "how little regard" Tulsa police officers have for minority communities.

Crutcher's family is calling for a federal investigation and criminal charges against the officer. The U.S. Department of Justice has been asked to help investigate the shooting.

U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams said Monday that the Justice Department investigation will be separate from a local one into whether criminal charges should be filed over Friday's shooting.