Tulsa Officer Returning To Work After Being Found Not Guilty Of Manslaughter

Justice Served’ with Acquittal of Police Officer Over On Duty Shooting								by Penny Starr18 May 20170		18 May 2017		18 May 2017

Malcolm X would have turned 92 Friday, just two days after white Tulsa, Oklahoma police officer Betty Shelby was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter in last year's shooting death of unarmed, compliant, hands-in-the-air "bad dude" - aka black man - Terrence Crutcher after the ordinarily minor, not fatal, happenstance of his vehicle stalling on the side of the road.

State Rep. Regina Goodwin, D-Tulsa, said despite the trial verdict, the African-American community must persist in its pursuit of justice. No gun was found. "I've been harassed all night long by the citizens of Tulsa", she said. "Crutcher's death is his fault".

Crutcher told reporters that social media harassment has only added insult to the injury her family feels from Shelby's acquittal.

The manslaughter trial against Shelby opened May 10 with prosecutors laying out how the five-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department encountered Crutcher - what should have been a routine traffic matter that went too far, they said.

As she turned back to her patrol vehicle, she saw Crutcher walking toward her, alternately putting his hands in his pockets and in the air, she said.

About 100 demonstrators gathered in a plaza outside the courthouse Wednesday evening to protest the verdict.

The case in Oklahoma sparked criticisms that Shelby, who is white, overreacted when she shot Crutcher, who was black.

But in his closing remarks, Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray challenged the defense argument that Shelby shot Crutcher as he appeared to be reaching into the vehicle. A juror later published a statement to another Tulsa publication, The Frontier, claiming that the jury asked Jordan that Shelby not be allowed to patrol, the World notes. The judge agreed most of the evidence is public record and released it to us.

"We're not making this a race issue; it is a race issue", said Rodney Goss, pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church in north Tulsa, where a Thursday news conference turned into an impromptu rally, with dozens of cheering and praying residents sitting in the pews.

Terence Crutcher's sister, Tiffany Crutcher, says that her brother did not show any aggression toward Shelby, did not attack her and did not threaten the officer. Other law enforcement officers, including the Sheriff of Rogers County, came to Shelby's defense and supported her claim that she followed police procedure. One of the officers fired his Taser at him.

He said he was disturbed to hear city of Tulsa leaders "saying they are proud of the jury and the decision that was made". Betty Shelby had the gun.

Shelby will return to work with the Tulsa police effective Sunday, department spokeswoman Jeanne MacKenzie told CNN on Friday.

"There's still a family that has dealt with a tragedy here, the Crutchers, and we still extend our deepest sympathies to them", he said.

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