TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A jury has acquitted a white Oklahoma police officer who says she fired out of fear last year when she killed an unarmed black man with his hands held above his head.
The family of Terence Crutcher burst into tears and expressed outrage after jurors found Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby not guilty Wednesday of first-degree manslaughter in the Sept. 16 shooting. About 100 demonstrators later gathered outside the courthouse and some briefly blocked a main street.
Shelby testified that she fired out of fear because she said Crutcher didn’t obey her commands and appeared to reach inside his SUV. Prosecutors told jurors that Shelby overreacted. They noted Crutcher had his hands in the air, partly confirmed by video taken from a dashboard camera and helicopter.