Terence Crutcher Had PCP in System When Shot

This doesn't change the case, lawyer says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2016 2:23 AM CDT
Man Fatally Shot by Tulsa Cop Had PCP in System
In this Sept. 24, 2016, photo, a man holds a copy of the program for the funeral of Terence Crutcher during services to honor him in Tulsa, Okla.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)

The unarmed black man shot dead by police officer Betty Shelby in Tulsa, Okla., last month had PCP in his system when he died, according to a toxicology analysis in an autopsy report released Tuesday. The Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner's Office says the hallucinogen was found in the blood of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, along with trace amounts of tenocyclidine, a similar drug, NBC News reports. The report says Crutcher had 96 nanograms per milliliter of PCP in his bloodstream, enough to cause "acute phencyclidine intoxication." Crutcher was shot dead with his hands up beside his vehicle after officers responded to reports of a broken-down SUV on Sept. 16.

Shelby, who has been charged with manslaughter, says Crutcher disobeyed her commands, and it's not clear whether the toxicology report will affect her case. A lawyer for Crutcher's relatives said Tuesday that the finding is a "distraction and utterly immaterial to the crucial issue," which is whether Shelby was justified in using deadly force on an unarmed man who posed no threat, the Tulsa World reports. "Those, like Mr. Crutcher, who struggle with addiction should receive treatment, not a bullet in the chest," the attorney said. (A lawyer for Shelby says she suffered "perceptual distortion" in the moments before shooting Crutcher.)

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