Cop Faces Life in Prison After Shooting Unarmed Pastor to Death

Officer Shelby in April denied that she is racist. She told “60 Minutes” that she is sorrowful for Crutcher’s death, but that he “caused his own death.”

David Lee | Courthouse News Service

TULSA, Okla. (CN) – In opening statements Wednesday for the former Tulsa police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black motorist, the defense attorneys accused prosecutors of bringing charges too quickly out of fear of public backlash.

Betty Shelby, 43, faces up to life in state prison for killing Terence Crutcher, 40, in September last year after he failed to comply with her instructions as he walked toward her police cruiser in the middle of a street.

Crutcher is shown on police dashboard camera and helicopter video later walking away with both arms in the air toward his disabled SUV during the 3-minute-long incident. Shelby has insisted that she fired her drawn weapon out of fear he was reaching for a weapon inside the car – no weapon was found on Crutcher or in the car.

Crutcher has said she was scared and thought Crutcher was on drugs. A medical examiner concluded in October that Crutcher had “acute phencyclidine intoxication” when he died.

Also known as angel dust or PCP, the drug is known to alter moods unpredictably and cause paranoia.

Shelby’s attorney Shannon McMurray, of Tulsa, told jurors that Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler was the only person who acted out of fear in this case, when he charged Shelby too quickly. She accused him of filing the case before the police investigation concluded, and that he had his office’s investigator step in for the police investigator assigned the case.

McMurray said a female witness who called 911 said Crutcher screamed, “It’s gonna blow!” and reached under his seat. She said a second person who called 911 said, “I think something dangerous is going to happen.”

She told jurors that Shelby did not act unreasonably, that the officer gave Crutcher “every opportunity” to comply with her instructions. She said police are not trained to see what a person pulls from a car because “action beats reaction” every time.

“When someone is going for lethal, you do not go less lethal,” McMurray said, according to The Tulsa World.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray told jurors that Shelby was allowed to look at the police dashboard and helicopter videos before making a statement to detectives, implying that she received special treatment.

McMurray acknowledged that her client was emotional while giving her statement, but said that was a normal reaction to taking a life. She said Shelby tried to help Crutcher afterward, but was not allowed to, as she was the shooter.

Continue to full article at Courthouse News Service.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3660 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Michael Loflin

    I don’t care who you are, You killed a person without seeing a weapon/threat.. That makes you a COWARD. Your statement makes you a cold hearted BITCH.

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  • So What NIGGER

    It looked perfectly legit to me

    • Beebea Tratrish

      Typical racist bastard hiding behind the pointy hat, sheets and loser’s flag.

      • So What NIGGER

        Just a monitor niggra niggress niggerette shebooned nigger

      • ShaNautica Gaines

        Exactly Nigga Niggerettes Nig Watever The Fuck U Call Blacks. That Nigga Shit Will Get A Justified Flatline On Y’all Pale Skin Bastards. U Know Better Than To Be Aboutface…. Cracker,Crack,Cracklette, Cracky & Etc Justify That

        • ShaNautica Gaines

          So Wat Niggers & Damn Y’all Crackers….

          • Tim Garrett

            This R retarded

        • Beebea Tratrish

          Typical racist still hiding behind fake names

    • Mike Johnson

      Flagged ya fucking goof!

      • So What NIGGER

        Bwahahahahahahhhahhahahhahhaha. Yet, I’m still here you nasty fucking nigger cuckold

        • Wayne Hutchison

          I’m guessing you consider yourself white, and somehow superior to others who are not. In fact, you are a see through cowardly piece of shit who was probably molested by the same uncle who fathered you with his sister. Your right to be referred to as even human is void.

          • 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 You can always trust a nigger to show its ape like mentality. ONLY NIGGERS DO IT!!!!! Bwahahahahahahhhahhahahhahhaha

          • Wayne Hutchison

            You needn’t look much further than your own post for sub-ape like mentality. You’re not even an effective troll, friend. You should work on yourself a little more spiritually and a lot less auto erotically. Wanker.

          • 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂. A nigger cuckold

  • Anastasia Beavenhouser


  • Robin W. Tong

    The unfortunate reality is that the #1 implementation of Jury Nullification across the nation is for the exoneration of police officers whom engage in malfeasance, misconduct, and malicious criminal acts. Thus far, the defenses opening arguments and presentation is that the officer is the victim and that the use of lethal force was justified based on the officers subjective claims of what she feared rather than the objective facts that actually transpired.

    Anyone else would have been immediately taken into custody and taken ‘down town’ for intensive interrogation until a defense attorney forced their release in the absence of any charges. But because she was a cop she was given special treatment and allowed to review the video evidence before making a statement. What bullshit. There should be no special treatment. Everyone should be treated the same in the equality and equal enforcement of the law. There should be no special considerations or a different standard or enforcement of the law just because she had a badge.

    The unedited helicopter video provides an objective view of the facts as they unfold and show that the officers claims of the man being armed or the man attempting to open the truck door to retrieve a weapon or to reach through the door window to retrieve a weapon to be complete and utter bullshit. The door was closed. The window was rolled up. And after walking slowly back to his truck with both hands in the air – the man then placed both hands on the truck in plain sight when the officer opened fire upon him and murdered him. There was no justification for the shooting. The man was not armed. He was not combative. And police backup had arrived with several additional officers on scene.

    If I was a member of the jury, I wouldn’t give a shit about any subjective claims of fear or subjective what if scenarios attempting to sanction and justify the shooting. As a member of a jury charged with making a determination of the facts, I would only care about the objective facts presented into evidence. The only place and time for all the subjective bullshit would be upon sentencing for determining the appropriateness of any leniency in the sentencing determination if and only if the jury returned a guilty verdict.

    In our modern era, police officers are supposed to be highly trained professionals whom are PAID to go into harms way to enforce arrest of those witnessed or accused of crimes so that a Jury can determine the facts and pass judgment on the law and the accused. The unfortunate reality is that far too often juries nullify and excuse egregious conduct by officers claiming to fear for their lives that would get anyone serving in the armed forces sentenced to felony imprisonment at a court martial.

    It is long past time to cut through the bullshit and demand that every police officer in the nation be held accountable to an extremely high standard of conduct no different than the extremely high standard that is enforced for those that serve in the armed forces. There should be no tolerance for malfeasance, dereliction, or the killing of a civilian because the officer subjectively claims they were in fear of their lives in the absence of any objective danger. For those that have served in the armed forces, we should one and all immediately recognize and decry that for what it is: Dishonorable Conduct.

    If a military member was charged with the death of a civilian, the court martial would narrowly focus upon the objective facts to determine a simple YES or NO answer to the charges: Did the service member kill the civilian as charged? Did the service member commit the elements of the crime? Anything else would be ‘subjective’ testimony of mitigating circumstances pleading for the sympathies and mercies of the court.

    Our Constitution states that the Militia are charged with upholding our laws. With that in mind, our police officers should be treated no different than those are in active service to the states and to the nation. They should be held to an honorable standard just as is the armed forces. And there should be swift and severe penalties for dishonor.

    In such instances, the purposes of a trial should be no different than the purposes of a court martial. Narrow focus upon the objective facts, and allowing the accused a public trial to defend themselves and to face their accusers and to have the protections of the due process of law. Subjective bullshit has no place or merit in the deliberation of facts. And it is a damn shame that it is so often used to sway juries to nullify prosecutions of police officers whom should have never been treated differently than even the lowest amongst our citizenry.

    If we are to have Justice, Equality, Equal Protection, and Liberty, then we must start with criminal justice reform and ensure that no police officer or politician is ever given special consideration, especially considering that they had been vested and entrusted with the public trust. If we fail to enforce their honorable conduct, there will never be justice for those whom are violated or even murdered by those in positions of ‘authority’. No one should be above the law.

  • Robin W. Tong

    I would like to post the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics that all police officers receive several hours training on. As people read this code of ethics and review the video and the facts of this case, to include this officers complete melt down and lose of composure when shooting this man and then calling in shots fired, everyone should be asking if this officer was qualified to be a law enforcement officer to begin with.

    Law Enforcement Code of Ethics
    As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.

    I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or to my agency. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed both in my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the law and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

    I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

    I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of police service. I will never engage in acts of corruption or bribery, nor will I condone such acts by other police officers. I will cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice.

    I know that I alone am responsible for my own standard of professional performance and will take every reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve my level of knowledge and competence.

    I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession… law enforcement.

    The objective facts show that this man did not once engage in any act of violence towards this officer, that he was unarmed, that he kept his hands in the air, and that this officer murdered him when he ‘assumed the position’ leaning and placing his hands against his truck.

    As to whether or not this officer was qualified to be vested with the public trust and to wear a badge, I think a contrast of her subjective claims and the objective facts speaks for itself. She engaged in violence and murdered a man for peacefully disobeying her and resisting arrest without violence. That is not honorable or ethical conduct, and it sure as hell did not protect the innocent, the weak, or the oppressed, and it sure as hell did not protect or respect this man’s rights to liberty, equality, and justice.

    No police officer should be sanctioned with a license to kill out of fear those whom they are vested with the public trust to serve and protect. Most certainly not a highly trained professional police officer whom is paid to go into harms way to ensure the protection of both the law and the rights of the accused.

    If folks carefully study history, they will take special notice that it was the abuses of police powers and the assaults and murders of innocents by those wielding police authorities that rallied our forefathers to fight the American Revolution. A prime illustration of this sentiment amongst the founding generation of our nation is the Trail of several officers, soldiers, and custom agents in the aftermath of the Boston Massacre. Most of the officers, soldiers, and agents were acquitted of the murder charges for having killed several protesters. But two of the soldiers most culpable for firing upon and responsible for the deaths of the protesters were convicted of manslaughter and were subject to the death penalty, thereby establishing as a matter of common law and case precedent that those wielding police or marshal powers were subject to trial and execution – EVEN FOR THEIR CONDUCT IN KILLING PROTESTERS IN THE MIDST OF A RIOT. Those two soldiers were subject to the death penalty, but avoided being executing by pleading for mercy and instead being sentenced to being brandished upon their thumbs as a permanent symbol for the remainder of their lives to all persons they would ever meet of their dishonorable conduct.

    Amazing how hundreds of years later the #1 controversy dividing our nation, our politics, our courts, and our citizenry is still the simple pursuit of Justice and the demands that we one and all be free from the Injustices and abuses of Tyranny under the color of law.

    This is the core issue that will inspire a modern era civil rights and criminal justice reform era comparable to that lead by MLK, or ultimately incite and subject our nation once again to the horrors of civil war. Let us all hope and pray that the pursuit of Justice, Liberty, Equality, Equal Protection, and Peaceful Political Change is not manipulated, exploited, or thwarted by institutionalized corruptions of our government and our courts, or by an ignorant partisanship sanctioning the abuses of government authorities and the deprivation of civil rights under the color of law. But let us also one an all be dedicated, tireless, and unafraid of the burden and sacrifices requisite to achieving peaceful political change, as we walk in the footsteps of this nation’s most notable civil rights leader of the past century, Martin Luther King. In the last speech he ever gave, he spoke passionately of his knowledge that he would never make it to the promised land. But that did not deter him from the struggles or the sacrifices requisite and that he knew would be extracted from him in the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that everyone in the nation would be free at last.

    In the decades since, a civil suit found that there was a government conspiracy to assassinate MLK, and various papers have been leaked and declassified showing that the FBI was engaged in a campaign of terrorism against MLK threatening his imminent death and attempting to coerce him into committing suicide.

    For those whom fail to understand why it should be self evidence that there be ZERO TOLERANCE of any subjective claim of any officer to exercise a license to kill suspects out of ‘fear’… and why there should be ZERO TOLERANCE of treating our politicians and our police officers as somehow above the law, I dare say that you have been a poor student of history or have been a zealot partisan to be so ignorant of why such bullshit should never be tolerated. The annals of our nations history are written in the blood of those that have decried and defied corruptions and abuses perpetrated under the color of law, and were made to suffer and sacrifice with their misery and their lives for such defiance.

  • George Malone

    But photos show that the drivers side window was closed. How could he have been reaching inside the vehicle? She lied, naturally..

  • Brian Harvill

    Lock her up for murder. Until the police start facing the consequences of their ILLEGAL actions, they will only continue. The public trust in police has been damaged BY THE POLICE with their refusals to hold their own accountable.

  • Andy

    Seems if the perp had been obeying the orders given him by the police officers on scene, he might still be living today. But he didn’t listen and now he paid the price for it.

    • ShaNautica Gaines

      Incorrect Asshole & U Are The Ignorant Ass Perp For Clearly Not Paying Attention. U Have An Expiration Date As Well & You Won’t Be Here Either, So Now Wat & Ur Point Was??????? Oh Ok