Medical Examiner Finds Terence Crutcher Had PCP In System At Time Of Death
The State Medical Examiner released a toxicology report Tuesday for an unarmed man fatally shot in Tulsa last month. The results show Terence Crutcher had “acute phencyclidine intoxication” when Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed him on September 16.
Phencyclidine, or PCP, is a hallucinogenic drug the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration calls “not compatible with skills required for safe driving.” An autopsy report last month ruled Crutcher’s death a homicide and said the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest.
Tulsa Police Officer Betty Jo Shelby was charged on September 22 with first-degree manslaughter. She pleaded not guilty and was released on $50,000 bond.
Shelby's attorney Shannon McMurray says her client was trained to spot people on the drug.
"She recognized, in her mind, that he was possibly high on PCP, and that is the beginning of what caused her concern and heightened her alert,” McMurray said. “Certainly you don't act rationally. I think from one of the 911 callers, he thought his car was going to blow up. It causes you to be out of your normal senses.”
Lawyers for Crutcher's family say the toxicology report doesn't justify the shooting.
A statement from the family's attorneys says the finding "does not change the most pertinent facts of this tragedy'' and that Shelby "should be held accountable for her unlawful actions."
Helicopter footage from September 16 shows Crutcher walking away from multiple police officers moments before Shelby shot and killed Crutcher. Police later found a vial of PCP in his car.