Police Officer Who Killed Unarmed Man in Oklahoma Charged
Betty Shelby has been charged with manslaughter
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 22, 2016 3:50 PM CDT
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This undated photo provided by the Tulsa Oklahoma Police Department shows officer Betty Shelby.   (Tulsa Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – Prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, filed manslaughter charges Thursday against the white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on a city street, the AP reports. District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges against officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16. Dashcam and aerial footage of the shooting and its aftermath showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air. The footage does not offer a clear view of when Shelby fired the single shot that killed Crutcher. Her attorney has said Crutcher was not following police commands and that Shelby opened fire when the man began to reach into his SUV window. But Crutcher's family immediately discounted that claim, saying the father of four posed no threat to the officers, and police said Crutcher did not have gun on him or in his vehicle.

Shelby was en route to a domestic violence call when she encountered Crutcher's vehicle abandoned on a city street, straddling the center line. Shelby did not activate her patrol car's dashboard camera, so no footage exists of what first happened between the two before other officers arrived. The police footage shows Crutcher approaching the driver's side of the SUV, then more officers walk up and Crutcher appears to lower his hands and place them on the vehicle. A man inside a police helicopter overhead says: "That looks like a bad dude, too. Probably on something." The officers surround Crutcher and he suddenly drops to the ground. A voice heard on police radio says: "Shots fired!" The officers back away and Crutcher is left unattended on the street for about two minutes before an officer puts on medical gloves and begins to attend to him.