Tulsa chief: Black man killed by an of­fi­cer had no weapon

Baltimore Sun - - NATION FROM PAGE ONE - By Justin Juozapavicius

TULSA, Okla. — An un­armed black man fa­tally shot by a white Tulsa, Okla., of­fi­cer re­spond­ing to a stalled ve­hi­cle last week can be seen in po­lice dash­cam video walk­ing to­ward his SUV with his hands up and of­fi­cers fol­low­ing be­hind him be­fore he’s shocked with a stun gun and then fa­tally shot.

Tulsa po­lice Chief Chuck Jor­dan an­nounced Mon­day be­fore the depart­ment re­leased the shoot­ing footage that 40-year-old Ter­ence Crutcher had no weapon on him or in his SUV. Po­lice said lo­cal and fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors are look­ing into Fri­day’s shoot­ing to de­ter­mine whether there should be crim­i­nal charges or if Crutcher’s civil rights were vi­o­lated.

“We will achieve jus­tice in this case,” Jor­dan said.

The po­lice video shows Crutcher walk­ing to­ward his SUV with his hands up and a fe­male of­fi­cer fol­low­ing him. The ve­hi­cle is stopped in the mid­dle of the road. As Crutcher ap­proaches the SUV, three male of­fi­cers walk up and Crutcher ap­pears to lower his hands and place them on the ve­hi­cle. The of­fi­cers sur­round him, mak­ing it harder to see his ac­tions from the po­lice dash­board cam­era’s an­gle.

Crutcher can be seen drop­ping to the ground. Some­one on the po­lice ra­dio says, “I think he may have just been tasered.” One of the of­fi­cers near Crutcher backs up slightly.

Then al­most im­me­di­ately, some­one can be heard say­ing, “Shots fired.” Crutcher’s head then drops, leav­ing him ly­ing in the street.

Po­lice have said Crutcher re­fused or­ders to put up his hands.

“We saw that Ter­ence did not have any weapon. Ter­ence did not make any sud­den move­ments. We saw that Ter­ence was not be­ing bel­liger­ent,” one of the at­tor­neys for Crutcher’s fam­ily, Da­mario SolomonSim­mons, said at a news con­fer­ence sep­a­rate from one po­lice held.

U.S. At­tor­ney Danny Wil­liams said the Depart­ment of Jus­tice’s civil rights in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the shoot­ing will be sep­a­rate from a lo­cal one into whether crim­i­nal charges should be filed.

Tulsa po­lice Sgt. Shane Tuell said au­thor­i­ties showed Crutcher’s fam­ily mem­bers the video and au­dio record­ings ahead of their re­lease to the pub­lic “so they wouldn’t be blind­sided by it.”

“We wanted to be able to have that in­ti­mate time with them, with their at­tor­ney, to see if they had any ques­tions or con­cerns,” Tuell said. “With some­thing of this mag­ni­tude, we’re try­ing an ap­proach that we be­lieve is nec­es­sary to fur­ther that trans­parency.”

About a dozen pro­test­ers gath­ered Mon­day morn­ing out­side the Tulsa County court­house wav­ing signs that read “This Stops Now” and “Not Go­ing, Keep Protest­ing.”

Tulsa res­i­dent Mark Whited, who was among the pro­test­ers, said more should be done to “bridge the mis­trusts” be­tween po­lice and cit­i­zens.

Po­lice said the shoot­ing oc­curred af­ter an of­fi­cer stopped to in­ves­ti­gate a ve­hi­cle in the mid­dle of a road. They said Crutcher ap­proached af­ter of­fi­cers ar­rived to as­sist.

Tulsa Of­fi­cer Betty Shelby fired the fa­tal shot, while Of­fi­cer Tyler Turn­bough used a stun gun on Crutcher, po­lice said. Turn­bough also is white. Shelby was placed on paid leave.


Video shows of­fi­cers pur­su­ing Ter­ence Crutcher, cen­ter, as he walk to his SUV. Po­lice said the shoot­ing hap­pened af­ter an of­fi­cer stopped to in­ves­ti­gate a ve­hi­cle on the road.

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