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Tulsa Officer Charged With Shooting Terence Crutcher Surrenders, Released On Bond

Officer Betty Shelby
Tulsa County Jail
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Officer Betty Shelby

Tulsa County jail records show the police officer charged with manslaughter in last week's shooting death of an unarmed black man surrendered to authorities early Friday morning.

Officer Betty Shelby was arrested at 1:00 a.m., booked at 1:11 a.m., and released at 1:31 a.m. after posting $50,000 bond.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed felony first degree manslaughter charges against Shelby Thursday afternoon. An affidavit says Shelby reacted unreasonably Friday evening when she shot Terence Crutcher, who did not have a gun.

Gov. Mary Fallin said she hopes the charges provide some peace to the man's family and to the people of Tulsa.

Fallin complimented Tulsa police chief Chuck Jordan, Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Kunzweiler, and citizens for keeping peace and order in the week following Crutcher's death. She also urged Tulsans to be patient as the case plays out in the justice system, and said Shelby is innocent until proven guilty. A similar incident in Charlotte, North Carolina this week sparked violent protests against police officers.

“No matter how you feel about the prosecutors’ decision in this case, I hope Oklahomans will respect the views of your friends and neighbors because we still have to live peacefully together as we try to make sense of the circumstances that led to Mr. Crutcher’s death,” Fallin said in a statement.

Bartlett commended police and prosecutors for their quick handling of the investigation into Terence Crutcher's death. He promised authorities would "continue to be transparent and ensure the system carries out its responsibility to provide justice."

At least two dozen protesters gathered outside the Tulsa County courthouse Thursday afternoon for a peaceful protest.

We the People Oklahoma founder Marq Lewis said the group decided not to march because charges were filed.

“Today, we can say really, really, really say without a shadow of a doubt, that the system today has worked for black lives,” Lewis said.

Nation of Islam student minister Alvin Muhammad and Shay White also spoke during the rally, the Tulsa World’s Paighten Harkins reports:

During his speech, Muhammad alluded to the Battle of Jericho in which the Bible says Joshua followed God’s orders, followed a process and in the end got a good result. He compared it to finding justice in Crutcher’s death. “We’re not celebrating,” he said of the rally. “We’re reorganizing because we know we still have a fight on our hands, but if we follow the process we will get the justice that we demand.” Toward the end of the rally, White took the microphone. She urged attendees — many of whom have been out in the heat all week protesting — to relax Thursday night, saying that this week’s event will take a toll. “So do something for yourself,” White said. “Exercise. Eat a good meal. Have some ice cream. Rest, and if the cause is to be continued, we’ll have the strength to fight.”

Crutcher’s funeral will take place Saturday, state and national NAACP members will speak Sunday evening at Morning Star Baptist Church, and on Tuesday the Rev. Al Sharpton will lead a rally in Tulsa.

KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.

Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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