Justice has, finally, been served in the wrongful death of one African-American man.
On Friday, Sept. 16, Terence Crutcher’s vehicle stalled in the middle of a Tulsa, Okhla. street. Officer Betty Shelby came across Crutcher, while she was on her way to an unrelated domestic violence dispute.
According to the affidavit, Shelby had difficulty hearing Crutcher’s responses to her questions.
“He was mumbling to himself and would not answer any of officer Shelby’s questions,” the affidavit stated.
It also stated that Crutcher continuously put his hands in his pockets. Shelby had previously claimed that he did not listen to her when asked to put his hands up. The dashcam footage, however, proved that he did have his hands up.
The one thing Crutcher did not comply with was when Shelby asked him to stop moving when he had his hands up. He later reached for his driver’s side window, causing Shelby to fatally shoot him, despite another officer ready to Tase him.
Shelby had no evidence that Crutcher had a gun on him that day.
“Although Mr. Crutcher was wearing baggy clothes, officer Shelby was not able to see any weapons or bulges indicating and [sic] weapon was present,” chief investigator Doug Campbell said, according to The Guardian.
Now, Shelby has been charged with first-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors who filed the charges against Shelby stated that she “unlawfully and unnecessarily” shot Crutcher for not complying with her orders.
If convicted, Shelby could face at least four years behind bars.
This case and the recent Charlotte shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, rightfully so, sparked outrage and numerous Black Lives Matter protests. It is great that action is finally being taken against a police officer, who wrongfully shot an African-American person, but there are so many other cops who got away too easily. Hopefully, this is just one of the first examples of police officers being held accountable for what they have done.