Jury acquits Tulsa cop in shooting of unarmed man - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Jury acquits Tulsa cop in shooting of unarmed man

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Betty Jo Shelby / Tulsa Co. Jail, Tulsa PD Betty Jo Shelby / Tulsa Co. Jail, Tulsa PD

By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS
Associated Press

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.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin issued this statement shortly after the verdict:

“I ask Oklahomans to respect our criminal justice system and especially the jurors, who heard the evidence from both sides in this case. Those who disagree with the verdict have the right to express their opinions; I just ask that they do so in a peaceful manner. I appeal to Tulsans and others to remain calm. Our thoughts and prayers should be with the Terence Crutcher and Betty Shelby families during this difficult time.”

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