The officer responsible for the shooting and death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher last week has been charged with first degree manslaughter.
District Attorney Stephen Kunzweiler announced during a press conference that an arrest warrant has been issued for Officer Betty Shelby of the Tulsa police department and that negotiations are taking place for her surrender.
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Cruthcer was shot after his vehicle broke down in the middle of the road. Police dashboard and helicopter video show Crutcher with his hands in the air walking back to his vehicle with several police officers following with their guns drawn. One officer fired their taser and Shelby immediately followed up with one shot to Crutcher’s chest. Crutcher was pronounced dead later that evening at a nearby hospital.
According to her lawyer, Scott Wood, Shelby believed that Crutcher was under the influence of drugs and that he failed to obey any of her commands. It is unknown why she did not fire her taser first rather than her weapon.
Shelby, who has been a police officer since 2011 and whose husband is also an officer with the Tulsa police department, has had two prior excessive force complaints, neither of which amounted to anything.
The Department of Justice will conduct their own separate investigation into Crutcher’s death.