Policewoman charged over shooting of black man in Tulsa

Pressure grows on Charlotte police to release video of fatal shooting of another black man

Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby, who fired the fatal shot that killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, has been charged with first-degree manslaughter. Photograph: AP

Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby, who fired the fatal shot that killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, has been charged with first-degree manslaughter. Photograph: AP

 

A white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on a city street has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said.

Tulsa County district attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges against officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on September 16th.

Dashboard camera and aerial footage of the shooting and its aftermath showed Mr Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air.

The footage does not offer a clear view of when Shelby fired the single shot that killed Mr Crutcher. Her attorney has said Mr Crutcher was not following police commands and that Shelby opened fire when the man began to reach into his vehicle window.

But Mr Crutcher’s family immediately discounted that claim, saying the father of four posed no threat to the officers, and police said Mr Crutcher did not have gun on him or in his vehicle.

Shelby, who joined the Tulsa police in 2011, was en route to a domestic violence call when she encountered Mr Crutcher’s vehicle abandoned on a city street, straddling the centre line. Shelby did not activate her patrol car’s dashboard camera, so no footage exists of what first happened between the two before other officers arrived.

The police footage shows Mr Crutcher approaching the driver’s side of the vehicle, then more officers walk up and Mr Crutcher appears to lower his hands and place them on the vehicle. A man inside a police helicopter overhead says: “That looks like a bad dude, too. Probably on something.”

Charlotte

Meanwhile, pressure on Charlotte police intensified to release a video showing the fatal shooting of a black man by officers that has sparked two nights of violent protests in North Carolina’s largest city.

The video would only be shown to the family of Keith Scott (43), who was shot dead by a black police officer in the car park of an apartment complex on Tuesday, police chief Kerr Putney said.