Tulsa Police Release Video Of Deadly Officer-Involved Shooting

WARNING: This video is graphic and shows the shooting of a man. It is not suitable for all audiences.

TULSA, Okla. - Multiple investigations have been launched into the death of an unarmed man who was shot by a Tulsa police officer on Friday (Sept. 16) after the department released video of the incident.

On Sept. 16 Terence Crutcher's SUV broke down near an intersection, according to his family.

Tulsa police say Crutcher's vehicle was blocking traffic and that when officers arrived, he allegedly approached them and did not follow their commands.

In the video released on Monday, you see Crutcher walking away from an officer and toward his vehicle with his hands up. Several seconds later, four officers are around Crutcher, making it difficult to see what is going on.

Moments later, Officer Betty Shelby fatally shot Crutcher. He was later found to be unarmed, according to authorities.

Now, as multiple investigations are underway, Crutcher's sister has demanded prosecutors immediately press charges against Shelby. CNN's efforts to reach out to an attorney for Shelby have been unsuccessful.

'Difficult to watch'

Three days after Crutcher's death, the Tulsa Police Department Monday released 911 audio, dashcam videos, and a police helicopter video of the incident. Chuck Jordan, Tulsa's chief of police, described the footage as "very disturbing and difficult to watch."

Sometime after 7:30 p.m. September 16, dispatchers received two 911 calls. The first call came from a woman who said an abandoned vehicle was blocking a road.

"Somebody left their vehicle running in the middle of the street with their doors wide open," the caller said. "The doors are open, the vehicle is still running. It's an SUV. It's in the middle of the street, it's blocking traffic."

The woman also told the 911 operator that "the guy was running from [the vehicle]" after explaining to her it was going to "blow up."

Shelby was headed to a domestic violence call when she arrived first at the scene of Crutcher's stalled vehicle. Shelby told the dispatcher that "she's not having cooperation" from Crutcher, according to Chief Jordan at a Monday news conference. The police chief declined to offer more information regarding the lack of cooperation Shelby faced.

When Shelby arrived, Crutcher was on the side of the road, away from his vehicle. He then approached Shelby, police said.

'Shots fired'

By the time Crutcher raised his hands, Tulsa Police officers were also flying above the scene in a helicopter, capturing the incident from an on-board camera. Footage from multiple police cameras show Crutcher walking toward his SUV in the middle of the road, hands raised, followed closely by Shelby and three other officers. They surround Crutcher, who continued to walk back to his car, where he appeared to place his hands toward the vehicle.

Circling above the scene, one police officer in the helicopter can be heard referring to Crutcher as a "bad dude," according to audio from police footage.

Jeanne MacKenzie, Tulsa Police public information officer, said that the responding officers on the ground thought Crutcher had reached his hands into the driver's side window of the vehicle.

Moments later, as Crutcher stands beside his car, the video shows him fall to the ground

"I think he may have just been Tasered," an officer says over the radio.

"Shots fired!" a female officer says.

In the video, Crutcher lies in the middle of the street, motionless, soon to be dead.

'There was no gun'

At a news conference Monday, Jordan struck a candid tone about the officer-involved shooting that left Crutcher dead.

"I'm going to tell you right here now: There was no gun on the suspect or in the suspect's vehicle," Jordan said.

He also confirmed that Shelby had fired one shot and Officer Tyler Turnbough had deployed his Taser.

Shelby is now on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of a criminal investigation. According to the Tulsa World, Shelby joined the force back in 2011.

In addition, both the Department of Justice and state authorities have launched investigations into the officer-involved shooting.

Danny C. Williams, U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Oklahoma, said prosecutors will attempt to determine whether a federal civil rights violation had occurred. Authorities refused to immediately answer additional questions due to the ongoing investigation.

Jack Henderson, a Tulsa council member, said that authorities would get to the bottom of what happened Friday night. In the meantime, Henderson called for Tulsa "to remain a strong city, a together city" free of the violence and conflict seen in other cities across the US.

"We've already got two families' lives who will be affected forever," Henderson said. "We don't need some more lives to be changed this way."

'Devastated'

Outside the Tulsa County Courthouse, approximately two-dozen protesters held signs and photos of Crutcher, shouting chants such as "hands up, don't shoot!" As they walked around downtown Tulsa, they demanded further transparency as well as improved training for local police.

Pastor Mario Johnson, who said he watched the dashcam video before it was made public, believes Crutcher did not deserve to die.

"Him having his hands up, walking toward his car, he was walking away from the officers. He wasn't posing a threat in any way," Johnson said.

According to a Crutcher family attorney, Terence was just "having some difficulty with his vehicle and that's it."

At a news conference Monday, Tiffany Crutcher said it was clear to her that Terence died because of a Tulsa Police officer's "negligence and incompetency and insensitivity."

Now, she said, charges should be pressed in order to ensure justice is served. According to his sister, that's the least that should happen given Crutcher won't be able to make his family proud, like he hoped to do.

"And because he was a big bad dude," she said referring back to the police helicopter tape, "he'll never get that chance."

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

3 comments

  • arnold fudpucker

    Here again you have a black refusing to follow instructions and persisting in giving attitude to the authorities. When are the blacks going to understand that the police are humans too and are fearful of their lives particularly from a group of people who have a long long history of refusing to follow instructions and acting in a threatening manner. The blacks need to understand that the law applies to them whether they believe is should or not. I’m going to bet the perp was bad mouthing the cops the whole time while refusing to submit.