The family of Terence Crutcher is still seeking justice and filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday seeking damages and widespread reform of the Tulsa, Okla., Police Department.
Crutcher was shot and killed in September by Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby, who was later acquitted of first-degree manslaughter in the case before returning to a cushy desk job at the same Police Department, and even receiving $35,000 in back pay.
According to The Atlantic, an internal investigation is currently underway to determine if Shelby should be allowed back on street patrol. Despite her acquittal, as The Atlantic notes, even the jury seemed unsettled and unconvinced of Shelby’s innocence in the case. “Many on the jury could never get comfortable with the concept of Betty Shelby being blameless for Mr. Crutcher’s death,” the foreman of the jury wrote in a public court memo.
Crutcher’s family has continually insisted that Shelby was guilty, with his father telling reporters at the time of her acquittal, “Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder.”
Now the family is seeking some $75,000 in damages, as well as widespread changes throughout the Tulsa Police Department, calling for mandatory officer training that focuses on suspects with substance abuse or mental-health issues. The lawsuit also demands that all dashboard cameras be activated during encounters with civilians.
The Atlantic notes that Shelby’s attorney Shannon Murray remains confident that her client will remain untouched, stating, “Just as in the criminal case, I can confidently say that Officer Shelby’s actions will be justified,” adding that the lawsuit was full of factual errors and omissions.