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Terence Crutcher: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know


Published 1:27 pm EDT, September 19, 2016 113 Comments By Tom Cleary 

A black man who was fatally shot by police in Oklahoma, after his car broke down in the road was unarmed, police say.

Terence Crutcher, 40, was shot September 16 in Tulsa, the Associated Press reports. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

Tulsa Police said the shooting occurred near 36th Street and Lewis Avenue about 8 p.m., KOTV reports.

Crutcher’s SUV had stalled in the middle of the road, and police arrived to check on the situation, according to the news station.

“As they approached the vehicle a black male started towards them,” Tulsa Police spokesperson Jeanne Mackenzie told KOTV. “They asked him to show his hands. He refused to follow commands given by the officers. They continued to talk to him. He continued not to listen, not follow any commands as they got closer to the vehicle he reached inside the vehicle and at that time there was a Taser deployment and then a short time later there was one shot fired.”

The shooting was captured on a dashboard camera. The video was released to the public Monday afternoon. It was shown to family members and community leaders on Sunday.

The officer who shot Crutcher has been identified as Betty Shelby. The officer who deployed his Taser was named as Tyler Turnbough.

Crutcher was initially identified by police as Terrence Crutcher. He is also named in some public records as Terance Crutcher.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Dashcam Video Shows Crutcher With His Hands ‘in the Air’ Before He Was Shot, a Pastor Says

You can watch the dashcam video released by police above or by clicking here if the player does not load. The video is graphic. The shooting occurs about the 1:40 mark.

The video shows Crutcher walking toward his SUV with his arms held in the air, as Shelby follows behind him with her gun drawn and a second officer approaches with his Taser drawn. He has his back to her and the other officer. Crutcher appears to lean toward the SUV with Shelby at his side and the other officer behind him. A single shot can then be heard and other officers run toward the SUV.

Crutcher then collapses to the ground and Shelby yells into the radio, “Shots fired!”

The Tulsa Police Department released other videos from the shooting. The first video shows the scene of the shooting from a police helicopter. In the video, one of the helicopter pilots says, Crutcher, “looks like a bad dude … might be on something.” The video is very graphic:

A pastor who watched dash camera video says Crutcher had his hands “in the air,” before he was shot, the Tulsa World reports.

Pastor Rodney Goss, of the Morning Star Baptist Church, also said the video does not show Crutcher reaching into his vehicle. He said Crutcher was walking toward it.

“His hands were in the air from all views,” Goss told the Tulsa World. “It was not apparent at any angle from any point that he lunged, came toward, aggressively attacked, or made any sudden movements that would have been considered a threat or life-threatening toward the officer.”

Goss added that he did not see a weapon. In the video, one officer can be seen deploying his Taser and the other officer then fires her gun.

“It wasn’t a matter of minutes, it was a matter of moments,” Goss told the newspaper. “As quick as the officer released the Taser from his hand, Terence was falling to the ground having already been shot.”

Goss said it took several moments before anyone checked on Crutcher.

“After having been shot, a couple minutes it appears, but it seemed like a lifetime, went by before anyone actually checked with him as far as pulse — as far as whatever the case may be,” Goss said.

He also expressed concerns about audio recorded after the shooting, in which a man in a police helicopter is heard saying Crutcher looked like “one bad dude,” the newspaper reports.


Police said they wanted to show the video to the family and community first.

“We wanted them to see it before it was released so they wouldn’t be blindsided by it,” Tulsa Police Sergeant Shane Tuell said. “We wanted to be able to have that intimate time with them, with their attorney, to see if they had any questions or concerns.”

2. Shelby Has Been an Officer in Tulsa Since 2011 & Her Husband Is Also a Cop, Who Was in the Police Helicopter at the Time of the Shooting.
 

Police identified the officers involved in the shooting as Officer Betty Shelby, who fired the fatal shot, and Officer Tyler Turnbough, who deployed his Taser.

Shelby was hired by the Tulsa Police Department in 2011 after working for the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office from June 2007 to November 2011, according to KOKI-TV. She resigned from her position as a deputy to join the Tulsa department.

A police spokesman told the Tulsa World that Shelby’s husband, who is also a Tulsa police officer, was in the helicopter at the time of the shooting “by happenstance.”

It was not her husband that made the comment about Crutcher being a “bad dude.” The other officer in the helicopter hasn’t been identified.


Betty Shelby has been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

Turnbough has been with the department since 2009.

It is not known if either officer has been the subject of any complaints. It is also not known if Shelby or Turnbough were involved in any previous shootings.

Tulsa Police told the Associated Press the county district attorney’s office will make the decision as to whether the shooting was justified.

“Every situation is different. Officers are involved in typically fast-moving situations, and officers who choose to use force, base (those decisions) on the situation involved that they are facing,” police spokesperson Jeanne MacKenzie told the AP.

The U.S Justice Department has also launched a parallel civil rights investigation.

3. Community Leaders Have Said They Were Shocked & Outraged by the Video, but Called for People to be ‘Level-Headed’

Community leaders who watched the video on Sunday expressed shock and outrage about what they saw, but called for a calm reaction when it is made public. Pleas Thompson, the head of the local NAACP, asked for residents to be “level-headed” after seeing the footage, according to the Tulsa World.

“I think the justice system will work here in Tulsa, because we’ve seen it work before,” Thompson said, making a reference to the case of Tulsa County reserve deputy Robert Bates, who was found guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a black man last year. He was sentenced to four years in prison earlier this year.

Morning Star Baptist Church Pastor Rodney Goss said he expects public outrage, and said the focus should be on changing things going forward.

“It’s difficult to tell your people that it’s OK because the police department has it under control, when the police department in the eyes of much of the community are the proprietors of such an event,” Goss told the Tulsa World.

He told the newspaper he does not want to see violence:

We have to let justice take its course. We have some who want to see the best come out of a bad situation. We have others who are simply looking for a reason to act bad. And then we have some who are so angry that they want this to be just affirmation that every negative opinion that they have of our justice system is confirmed. You can’t corral everyone when you have so many varying agendas and mindsets. The only thing you can attempt to do is be the voice of reason and put something in place that will help your people vent, and that is safe and in a practical way that will hopefully help them deal with a situation that is very painful for the African-American community. I’m pushing for not only a march or a meeting, I’m pushing for a seat at the table,where we can affect change in the policies and the culture of the police versus the community.

The video has also been viewed by Crutcher’s family and their attorneys, along with local elected officials.

4. Crutcher Had 4 Children & Was Studying Music at Tulsa Community College, His Family Says

Terence Crutcher was the father of four children, the Washington Post reports. His family says his SUV stalled as he headed home from class at Tulsa Community College, where he had been studying music appreciation.

Crutcher was also involved in his church, including singing in the choir, according to the Tulsa World.

His pastor, Terry Shannon, told the newspaper it was a “blessing and a joy” to be Cructher’s pastor, saying he attended the church “faithfully” with his family for years.

“He sang in the choir,” Terry Shannon said. “He had a beautiful voice.”

Crutcher did have a criminal record, the Associated Press reports. He pleaded no contest in 1996 to carrying a concealed weapon and resisting an officer. He was given a six-months suspended jail sentence. He also has traffic violations on his record, the most recent occurring in 2005, according to the AP.

His sister and other family members called for murder charges to be filed, and referenced the “bad dude” comment made in the helicopter video, saying Crutcher’s life mattered.


“We are truly devastated, the entire family is devastated,” said Tiffany Crutcher, Terence’s twin sister. “You all want to know who that big bad dude was? That big bad dude was my twin brother. That big bad dude was a father. That big bad dude was a son. That big bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College. … That big bad dude loved God. That big bad dude was at church singing with all his flaws every week. That big bad dude, that’s who he was.”

Not gonna lie, I like the way Tulsa pd is handling this, this cop will still walk tho. 

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1 minute ago, WORilla said:

Nah. White people told me there's no problem. This can't be true. 

/s 

FFS. What more does this country need????? Touch my gun=OH **** NAH ILL KILL YOU. Kill people for no reason=meh they probably did something to deserve it

You didn't hear? He looked like "one bad dude" totally deserved it. 

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WTF, it actually took them 1 minute 50 seconds to check on him and see if he's alive? WTF?!!!!!! And then the police woman took her sweet time for 30 seconds to put her gloves on stylishly!! WTH happened to common decency? Someone's life is on the line and you go around check the vehicle first? Disgusting ...

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So he looked like "one bad dude", huh? That brotha had the stigma of wrong-doing placed upon him as soon as he left the vehicle. God Rest his Soul.

They really need to start psychologically vetting these cops better. It seems as if fear of anyone who doesn't look like them automatically trumps (no pun intended) any police training they've went through or worse, any superiority they believe they have over anyone exacerbates a seemingly simple situation to un-seemingly fatal end.

Just more proof that if they can't overpower you and beat you down physically, they're more apt to shoot you regardless of whatever.

 

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16 minutes ago, Statick said:

So he looked like "one bad dude", huh? That brotha had the stigma of wrong-doing placed upon him as soon as he left the vehicle. God Rest his Soul.

They really need to start psychologically vetting these cops better. It seems as if fear of anyone who doesn't look like them automatically trumps (no pun intended) any police training they've went through or worse, any superiority they believe they have over anyone exacerbates a seemingly simple situation to un-seemingly fatal end.

Just more proof that if they can't overpower you and beat you down physically, they're more apt to shoot you regardless of whatever.

 

Yeah that audio is pretty despicable. These guys should have never been in a blue uniform. Now they need to be wearing an orange one for murder. 

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Sounds like she panicked in the heat of the moment when the taser was in action. Probably someone who shouldn't have been trusted with a gun.

Yet another case of cops freaking out and their preconceived notions overruling what their eyes are trying to tell them.

 

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28 minutes ago, Grrrillapmpn Inc.® said:

Let's not get carried away now, you know that's not how life works. 

 

just like football. The eye in the sky don't lie.

#1 How you gonna shoot a man after he has been tasered?

#2 He did nothing but comply.

#3 He had no weapon on his person or his car.

#4 He made no sudden movements to reach for a non-existant weapon.

#5 He had his hands up.

#6 After they shot him they left him laying on the ground and checked his car before calling in an ambulance

Those dudes going to prison. that is 100% unacceptable. 

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The sad thing is, 20 years ago, before cellphone video, everyone assumed the "perp" deserved it.

Now, we have cellphone video.  And some folks still think he deserved it.

It's absolutely unbelievable.  I would love to hear the officers' justification for this.  I mean, They tasered him, THEN shot him.

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1 hour ago, Grrrillapmpn Inc.® said:

If by prison you mean paid vacation, then yes. 

 

How many times have we seen ****ing video and then a clearance of all wrong doing. 

Do you realize your statement is prejudice?  Do you really think the solution to fight prejudice is spreading your own prejudice? 

In the exact same article...

Community leaders who watched the video on Sunday expressed shock and outrage about what they saw, but called for a calm reaction when it is made public. Pleas Thompson, the head of the local NAACP, asked for residents to be “level-headed” after seeing the footage, according to the Tulsa World.

“I think the justice system will work here in Tulsa, because we’ve seen it work before,” Thompson said, making a reference to the case of Tulsa County reserve deputy Robert Bates, who was found guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a black man last year. He was sentenced to four years in prison earlier this year.

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What am I missing here? Did he or did he not bring his arms down and reach into an open window? 

Secondly, with her weapon drawn, she would not have told him to go stand by his vehicle (with an open window or otherwise). So he was apparently disobeying comands.

Everyone seems to be in agreement that this was unjustified. If someone wants to calmly explain where I'm wrong, please do.

I'm not trying to be a jackass. I'm just not seeing what every one else is seeing. 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, pzummo said:

Do you realize your statement is prejudice?  Do you really think the solution to fight prejudice is spreading your own prejudice? 

In the exact same article...

Community leaders who watched the video on Sunday expressed shock and outrage about what they saw, but called for a calm reaction when it is made public. Pleas Thompson, the head of the local NAACP, asked for residents to be “level-headed” after seeing the footage, according to the Tulsa World.

“I think the justice system will work here in Tulsa, because we’ve seen it work before,” Thompson said, making a reference to the case of Tulsa County reserve deputy Robert Bates, who was found guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a black man last year. He was sentenced to four years in prison earlier this year.

Prejudiced against what? Show one thing in that post that wasn't a fact...Don't worry, I'll wait. 

And lol @ being convicted of manslaughter and doing four years...Look at all that justice. 

I'm willing to bet money this cop walks...not really though because that seems in bad taste after actually thinking it...

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31 minutes ago, Lukas jackson said:

 

I'm not trying to be a jackass. I'm just not seeing what every one else is seeing. 

 

 

Basically it comes down to what did he do to deserve being shot, when were those cops lives in danger. 

Dude's car broke down, that is not against the law, and somehow he still ends up murdered by cops. 

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