Tulsa police officer charged in man’s death

In this image made from a Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 police video, Terence Crutcher, left, is pursued by police officers as he walks to an SUV in Tulsa, Okla. Crutcher was fatally shot Friday after authorities say an officer stopped to investigate the stalled vehicle and Crutcher approached after officers arrived to assist. Crutcher had no weapon on him or in his SUV, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.   (Tulsa Police Department via AP)
In this image made from a Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 police video, Terence Crutcher, left, is pursued by police officers as he walks to an SUV in Tulsa, Okla. Crutcher was fatally shot Friday after authorities say an officer stopped to investigate the stalled vehicle and Crutcher approached after officers arrived to assist. Crutcher had no weapon on him or in his SUV, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Monday, Sept. 19, 2016. (Tulsa Police Department via AP)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, charged a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on a city street with first-degree manslaughter Thursday.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges 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.

Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old black man, was shot and killed Friday, September 16, 2016 by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old black man, was shot and killed Friday, September 16, 2016 by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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.

But Crutcher’s family immediately discounted that claim, saying the father of four posed no threat to the officers, and police said Crutcher did not have gun on him or in his vehicle.

Shelby, who joined the Tulsa Police Department in December 2011, was en route to a domestic violence call when she encountered Crutcher’s vehicle abandoned on a city street, straddling the center line. Shelby did not activate her patrol car’s dashboard camera, so no footage exists of what first happened between the two before other officers arrived.

The police footage shows Crutcher approaching the driver’s side of the SUV, then more officers walk up and Crutcher appears to lower his hands and place them on the vehicle. A man inside a police helicopter overhead says: “That looks like a bad dude, too. Probably on something.”

Officer Betty Shelby is now on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of criminal investigation in the shooting and killing of Terence Crutcher, 40, on Friday, September 16, 2016 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Officer Betty Shelby is now on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of criminal investigation in the shooting and killing of Terence Crutcher, 40, on Friday, September 16, 2016 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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