Can Tulsa officer Betty Shelby get away with manslaughter charge?

Can Tulsa officer Betty Shelby get away with manslaughter charge?

Less than a week after the fatal shooting of Terrence Crutcher, rumors are swirling that Tusla officer Betty Shelby could get away from the manslaughter charges against her. Experts say that video and photo enhancement of the scene of the crime could not merit a conclusive evidence of the crime committed.

According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, the 40-year old Crutcher had a series of run-ins with the law. Crutcher got arrested before for gun possession and even served four years in prison for drug trafficking.

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Though his history does not give Shelby the right to shoot him but experts believe that Crutcher was high with PCP or phencyclidine that could give side effects of hallucinations.

It would be remembered that when Shelby instructed Crutcher to stand down he continued to walk back to his vehicle. He was telling Shelby that the vehicle would blow up that led to the shooting.

But upon investigation, officers found drugs inside the vehicle. The Crutcher family through their lawyer Damario Solomon-Simmons stated that even if drugs were found it was no reason for the officer to shoot their loved one.

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Shelby’s defense noted that the officer continuously yelled out instructions to Crutcher, who would not seem to heed to all of it. The officer’s lawyer Scott Wood explained that his client was very clear and loud with her instructions but Crutcher would not heed to it.

It was a judgement call for Shelby to fire upon Crutcher knowing that her life and the lives of fellow officers were on the line at that moment.

Had Crutcher obeyed the commands it would have been easily for all parties involved to settle the matter with no one getting hurt. Shelby has maintained her innocence of the crime and will prove in court that she was doing her job on the line of duty.

Tusla District Attorney has filed manslaughter charges against Shelby, which was a standard operating procedure. It will be up for Shelby and his lawyer to prove that she has done nothing wrong and hope that the people would not judge her for what happened with Crutcher.

CNN reports that Crutcher’s twin sister Tiffany wants justice for the killing of his brother, whom they described was on his way to turn things right in his life. The family maintained that Shelby should have exhausted all possible means with shooting as the last resort to arrest Crutcher.

“This is a small victory,” Crutcher’s twin sister Tiffany told reporters. “The chain breaks here. We’re going to break the chains of police brutality. We know the history.”

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If convicted, Betty Shelby faces four years prison time.

The incident happened on Sept. 16 when a woman called 911 and reported an abandoned car blocking the street. According to the report, the woman stated that a man (Crutcher) warned her that it was going to blow up. Shelby was first to respond to another incident, though she was on her way to another incident.

Crutcher would not listen to Betty Shelby’s instructions to the point of putting his hands inside his pocket as if he was trying to draw something out. This prompted Shelby to point her service firearm at him and everything went down so quick.

Photo Courtesy: The All-Nite Images/Flickr