Family: Acquitted cop should not return to work

Posted May 19, 2017

A white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a year ago was found not guilty of first-degree manslaughter on Wednesday night.

In September officer Betty Jo Shelby fatally shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher in a city street.

CNN reports, the verdict came hours after the jury was sent to deliberate Wednesday.

After the not guilty verdicts were announced, defense attorney Shannon McMurray reached around Shelby and hugged her waist.

Prosecutors argued that Crutcher had not made any aggressive moves, but Shelby's defence attorneys said he ignored the officer's commands.

Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has called for calm after a jury found a Tulsa police officer not guilty in the shooting of an unarmed black man past year.

Tulsa community leaders say the acquittal of a white Oklahoma police officer who killed an unarmed black man ripped open a long-festering wound.

Shelby said during her trail on Monday, "I feared for my life".

Officer Tyler Turnbough, who witnessed the incident and shot his taser at Crutcher at the same time Shelby fired her gun, said his fellow officer followed proper protocol in light of the suspect's state of mind. The videos are partially obscured, but Crutcher appeared to reach into the auto, at which point one officer shocked him with a Taser. [Image by Tulsa Police Department/AP Images] According to the Tulsa World, jurors retired for deliberations at noon and the verdict was read at 9:50 p.m. that evening. They chanted "no justice, no peace" and blocked traffic in an intersection during a peaceful demonstration, media reported. Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man. Shelby was found not guilty.

"We are deeply disappointed that yet another police officer has eluded conviction for killing an unarmed African American", NAACP LDEF President Sherrilyn Ifill said in a statement Wednesday.

McMurray said, "When I asked her how she felt, she said 'I'm so happy, but I'm concerned for the community".

The shooting was among a spate of officer-involved shootings in recent years that helped galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted calls for more police accountability.

The family of an unarmed black man killed by a white Oklahoma police officer has called on Tulsa city leadership to block the officer from returning to her job.

The jury got the case shortly after noon Wednesday. They say he wasn't armed or combative when Shelby approached him on a street after his SUV broke down. No weapons were discovered on Crutcher's person or inside the vehicle. There was no gun in the vehicle. It's unclear what kind of information they had about him or his vehicle that would have warranted several officers and a helicopter to be on the scene for what should have been a routine traffic stop but nevertheless the video footage shows officers bum-rushing him while his hands are up.