Criminal Justice

Tulsa police officer acquitted in fatal shooting of unarmed man

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A white police officer from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was acquitted of manslaughter on Wednesday in the shooting death of an unarmed black man last September.

Jurors deliberated more than nine hours before they announced the acquittal of Betty Shelby, report the Tulsa World, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Several jurors cried after the verdict, according to the Tulsa World.

Video had shown the 40-year-old Crutcher raising his hands as he walked toward his car, and then lowering one hand. Toxicology tests showed he had PCP in his system.

Shelby had testified that Crutcher didn’t obey her command to lie on the ground, and she fired because she had a reasonable fear that Crutcher was reaching for a gun through the open window of his car.

The defense was allowed to introduce testimony showing Crutcher did not comply with officers’ commands in prior incidents.

Shelby’s lawyer, Shannon McMurray, had argued the case resulted in a prosecution because of media hysteria.

Crutcher’s sister, Tiffany Crutcher, said after the verdict that her brother had been murdered. She also criticized police because they didn’t immediately provide aid to her brother after he was shot.

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