Jury Clears Tulsa Officer Betty Shelby In Fatal Shooting

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It took less than five seconds for embattled Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby to leave the courtroom last night after jury of eight men and four women deliberated for nine hours before acquitting her of manslaughter for killing Terence Crutcher last September, reports The Frontier. Crutcher was unarmed, but video showed he was not complying with Shelby’s commands to stop moving. An autopsy report later found PCP in his system. Jurors sent a note to Judge Doug Drummond after six hours of deliberating, asking the judge if they could make a statement to explain their verdict. Drummond said no, and the the jury deliberated for another three hours.

It’s unclear what the acquittal means for the fractured relationship between police and District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler. He was criticized by the local Fraternal Order of Police throughout the trial, and local police officers were seen in the courtroom supporting Shelby. Tulsa Police Department Fraternal Order of Police Chairman Jerad Lindsey said “this is not a celebratory moment.” He added, “We’re very glad for our member that she’s been vindicated. That’s something we’ve believed from the very beginning was going to happen. But there’s still a family that’s been greatly affected, and that’s the Crutchers … just because our member here has been found to be not guilty, it in no way diminishes our heartfelt sympathy to that family.”

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