Closing Arguments to Begin in Trial of Tulsa, Okla., Officer Who Killed Terence Crutcher

Betty Shelby (Tulsa, Okla., County Jail)
Betty Shelby (Tulsa, Okla., County Jail)

The manslaughter trial of Betty Shelby—the Tulsa, Okla., police officer who fatally shot Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man—is slowly coming to an end, with closing arguments scheduled to begin Wednesday.


As Reuters notes, Shelby, 43, faces four years to life in prison if convicted of manslaughter for the September 2016 shooting death of Crutcher, whose vehicle had broken down on a Tulsa highway.

The case, like countless others similar to it, stoked the conversation about racial bias and policing in the United States. In police videos from the incident, Crutcher can be seen walking away from officers with his hands in the air before he is shot. Shelby has claimed that she thought he was reaching for a weapon. Crutcher was later found to be unarmed, with no weapon in his vehicle.

According to the report, Shelby took the stand in her own defense in the weeklong trial, testifying that her training led her to shoot Crutcher because she believed that he was reaching for a weapon through a partially open window in his vehicle.

Prosecutors have argued that Shelby recklessly escalated tension, turning the routine traffic issue into a deadly encounter.

Reuters notes that most of the testimony centered on what happened in the incident and the proper police protocol for dealing with such a situation.


Shelby has routinely denied that race was a factor in her response to the encounter, blaming Crutcher’s actions and saying that he seemed to be high on drugs and did not respond to police commands as he walked toward his vehicle.


Prosecutors countered that drug use and ignoring commands are no reason for an officer to use deadly force against a civilian.

Read more at Reuters.

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sTalkinggoat attacks! with Trollhammer for 14 DMG

This is over already? Seems very fast.