Tulsa officer’s attorney says she thought her life was in danger before firing fatal shot

 

'Officer Felt Deadly Force Was Justified Due To Events We Do Not See On Videos'

TULSA, Okla. – Several agencies are still investigating the deadly shooting of Terence Crutcher by a Tulsa police officer this past weekend.

On Friday night, police say 40-year-old Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by Officer Betty Shelby near 36th St. North and Lewis.

Family members say Crutcher’s vehicle broke down on the roadway and was blocking traffic.

Officers at the scene say Crutcher was acting erratically and was not following commands.

In the dash cam video, you see Crutcher walking away from an officer and toward his vehicle with his hands up.

About 25 seconds after Crutcher reached his vehicle, the video shows him falling to the ground. A police officer is heard saying, “I think he may have just been tased” on the radio.

About two seconds later, Shelby is heard saying, “Shots fired.” At that point, paramedics are called to the scene.

Crutcher was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Now, Shelby’s attorney is speaking out on the investigation and says the video does not capture everything that happened during that stop.

Attorney Scott Wood told KJRH that Shelby believed her life was in danger because Crutcher kept reaching down and patting his left pocket.

Wood says that action led his client to believe that he had a gun in his pocket.

“She is a drug recognition expert and she had already formulated the belief that it looked like he was on PCP,” Wood said.

On Tuesday, Tulsa police officials announced that a vial of PCP was found in Crutcher’s vehicle. However, the family’s attorney says that shouldn’t have led to the deadly shooting.

“If we started to condemn everybody to death who might have some drugs in their system, all of our neighborhoods would be affected,” said Attorney Benjamin Crump.

Wood says that Crutcher was not obeying commands to get on the ground and walked back to his vehicle instead.

“She told Detective Walker when she was interviewed on Monday morning, ‘I’ve never been so scared in my life as when his hand started going into that car,” Wood said.

However, family attorneys say that never happened.

“The window was up, so how can he be reaching into the car if the window is up and there’s blood on the glass?” Crump said, holding up a picture from the scene, showing Crutcher’s body on the ground outside of his vehicle and a blood streak running down the driver’s side window.

Wood says Shelby did not know that backup had arrived and pulled the trigger at the same time another officer tased Crutcher.

He says that Shelby is distraught over Crutcher’s death and her heart goes out to his family.

Wood says that Shelby has received threats to her and her family in the wake of the shooting.

Shelby is now on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of a criminal investigation. In addition, both the US Department of Justice and state authorities have launched investigations into the officer-involved shooting.

'Officer Felt Deadly Force Was Justified Due To Events We Do Not See On Videos'