Tulsa Jury Says Acquitted Officer Should Not Be on Patrol

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One of the 12 jurors who acquitted Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby of manslaughter this week said the jury wrote a letter to Police Chief Chuck Jordan saying that Shelby should never again be a patrol officer, The Frontier reports. The juror, who was not identified, said the jury believed that the state’s prosecution “was shoddy,” and that they could have won a conviction “had they done a better job.” The juror added, “There was a range of belief there. Some of us thought she would be good behind a desk. She sounded like an excellent diver. I thought she would have made a great EMT.”

He said he felt that Shelby “was a fearful person,” and that the jury agreed someone with that mindset should not be on patrol. “I don’t think she’s a bad person,” he said. “She just shouldn’t be a cop.” One elements of a successful manslaughter case like the one against Shelby is that fear must be “an overriding” factor. He said the jury felt like Shelby was scared — she testified that the encounter with Terence Crutcher was “the most scared she’d ever been” — but that she wasn’t panicking. The juror regrets not “hanging the jury,” which would have forced the prosecution to re-try the case.

 

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