Father of four, Terrence Crutcher, shot by Oklahoma officer


Max Onofre

The #JusticeforTerrence hashtag surfaced on Sept. 18. after Terrence Crutcher, a 40 year-old man, was shot and killed by Tulsa, Oklahoma police.

Crutcher’s car was broken down in the middle of the street when police received reports of an abandoned vehicle blocking the road. Crutcher was found by his car by Officer Betty Shelby, who was later identified as the shooter, when she was on her way to another call.

Video footage of the incident was released by the Tulsa police department on Monday.  Before this, officers had stated that Crutcher had been acting erratically, and had refused to comply with several orders. Furthermore, Scott Wood, the lawyer of Officer Shelby, stated that tried to put his hand in his pocket and reached inside his car window before being shot.

The footage released, however, spoke otherwise. Video from the dashboard camera in a backup patrol car as well as helicopter video show that Crutcher had his hands in the air when he was shot.

In the dashboard cam, Crutcher is seen walking away from Officer Shelby with his hands in the air and her gun pointed at his back. Less than 30 seconds after the backup car arrives, Crutcher is tasered by Officer Tyler Turnbough and then shot by Officer Shelby. Why one officer drew a Taser while the other shot is still unknown.

The helicopter video shows another view from two officers, one who was identified as Officer Shelby’s husband, Dave Shelby. “He’s got his hands up there for her now,” can be heard coming from Dave Shelby, “This guy is still walking and following commands.”

The videos were released to ensure “full transparency and disclosure.” During a news conference on Monday, Sept. 19, Chief Chuck Jordan, said that Mr. Crutcher was unarmed and did not have a weapon in his vehicle. Officer Shelby is now on paid administrative leave.