Officer Betty Shelby charged with manslaughter



People hold signs at a “protest for justice” over Friday’s shooting death of Terence Crutcher, sponsored by We the People Oklahoma, in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


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Officer Betty Shelby was charged with manslaughter in Tulsa, Oklahoma after she shot a black man who was unarmed. She was booked at the local county jail but released shortly after on $50,000 bond. It all started after a 911 call on Friday, September 23.  A woman said there was an abandoned car that was blocking the street and a man was running away. The man warned that it was going to blow up, the caller said. Officer Shelby was the first one the scene even though she was not responding to the 911 call.  She was actually going to a domestic violence call when she saw Crutcher in the middle of the street according to investigators.  The chief investigator said in an affidavit that the officer approached the car “ cleared the driver’s side front and then proceeded toward the passenger side of the vehicle”.  She then saw the man and proceeded to talk to him. The man was talking to himself and would not answer the officer, Many cameras caught the shooting from police cars and the helicopter.  In the video, you can see the man walking away from the officer to his car with his hands up the whole time before he was shot dead. There was no weapon found on him or in the car.

In 2016 alone there have been 194 black people fatally shot by the police. That is a 4.86 per million compared to a 1.95 per million for white people.  2016 is not over yet and we have police killing too many innocent people. At this point, it no longer looks like the police serve to protect the people.  It looks like they serve to protect themselves. These kinds of things are going on every day in our lives and the government does too little to fix them.  It’s sad to think that when people get stopped by police they no longer feel safe. They feel as if they say anything wrong or move the wrong way they could get arrested or get their life taken from them. It is good that the officer who took this man’s life will be punished.  I do not think this woman should spend her whole life in jail because she must also have a family and people who love her; 4 years or less to me would feel like a good punishment for an officer who took an innocent man’s life.

It was not intentional but it was careless. This is one of many examples of the need to use police power responsibly.  The way I think we could solve this problem is that we just need to train our officers more and we also need to run a background check on them to make sure that they are mentally and physically stable. We can’t just have officers on the streets who can’t think about what they are going to do before they do it. Our officers just need to stop and think.  Often many of the police mistakes could be avoided just by them thinking about the situation. One of the values that were violated in this tragic incident was power. The officers today live in a time of fear and they just have too much power over the public.  Would the police department be better without guns? What if they had tasers but not deadly weapons? If this is done we also need to enforce gun laws much more because if our officers don’t have guns then we should also not let our civilians have then too. This would reduce the number of fatalities.

The news about police in our community is not all bad.  Many Police departments such as Fairfax County, Virginia continue to work to build trust in the community in order to reduce the fear.

For more information on the latest tragedy beware as the footage is graphic: