Betty Shelby, a former Tulsa police officer who was acquitted in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher, has joined the Rogers County, Ok., Sheriff’s Department as a reserve deputy, the Tulsa World reports. Sheriff Scott Walton, a vocal supporter of Shelby while she awaited trial in last September’s shooting of Crutcher, said Shelby could become a full-time deputy depending on her other obligations. Walton used his position as the county’s top law enforcement officer to repeatedly question on social media the merits of Shelby’s prosecution. He said a guilty verdict would set a bad precedent for officers simply trying to do their jobs.
“When officers are so scrutinized in the use of deadly force that they draw back and wait and hesitate and overthink situations (and) in turn get themselves killed, we’ve taken away not only their protection, but we’ve taken away their ability to protect the people we’re sworn to protect,” he said yesterday after Shelby was sworn in. He said Shelby’s position, which is unpaid, will involve job duties similar to those of full-time deputies. Shelby resigned last month in Tulsa. Walton said she has other obligations including “nationwide” speaking engagements about the events of the past year.