Monday, September 19, 2016
Dash cam videos released Monday show Tulsa Police Department officers killing an unarmed 40-year-old black man who had his hands raised. Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by police shortly before 8:00 pm on Friday night. He was unarmed and apparently seeking police assistance because his car had broken down. Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan confirmed Monday afternoon at a press conference that Crutcher had no weapon, and hinted that his department is treating his death like a crime. The videos, including three from police cars and a fourth from a helicopter, are disturbing. None captures the entirety of the interaction between Crutcher and Officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed him. But all of them show him with his hands raised, walking back to the side of his car, while Shelby follows with her gun raised. Another officer arrives, and fires his Taser at roughly the same moment that Shelby shoots Crutcher.
TPD initially told the public that Crutcher had ignored officers when they told him to raise his hands and reached back into his car, prompting Officer Shelby to shoot and Officer Tyler Turnbough to fire his Taser. Shelby shot Crutcher once, and he was pronounced dead later at a hospital. But the videos show Crutcher with his hands above his head, walking slowly back to the driver's side of his truck, when he is suddenly tased and shot. The helicopter footage includes an officer murmuring that Crutcher "looks like a bad dude," while another acknowledges that Crutcher's hands are up but says he doesn't seem to be complying with Shelby's commands.
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