Tulsa, Oklahoma — One officer fired a stun gun and another officer fired one shot that killed Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man whose car stalled Friday night. A white officer, Betty Shelby, fired the fatal shot and Officer Tyler Turnbough, who is also white, deployed his Taser, according to police officials.
40-year-old Terence Crutcher’s car stalled on 36th Street North and Lewis Avenue in Tulsa. When police responded to reports of an abandoned car running, they ordered Crutcher to put his hands in the air. He followed orders, yet one officer fired a Taser at him and another fired her gun.
Video footage taken from both responding officer’s dash cams as well as a police helicopter showed that Crutcher walked with his hands up to his SUV. He placed them against the vehicle as four police officers gather behind him with weapons, either guns or Tasers, pointed directly at him.
As you can see an officer at the beginning of the video claimed that Crutcher “is still walking… not following commands.” “Time for a Taser, I think,” another officer responded.
“I’ve got a feeling that’s about to happen,” the first officer said.
The other officer responded, “That looks like a bad dude, too.”
Moments later, Crutcher laid lifeless on the ground. Another officer said, “I think he may have just been Tasered” but a female officer is heard shouting “Shots fired!” There’s more chatter over the radio about blocking eastbound traffic while the four officers mull around Crutcher’s visibly bloodied body.
Later, an emergency crew would show up and take him to a hospital where he was declared dead.
Crutcher’s loved ones and others who knew him have said since the day after the shooting that he wasn’t armed. Tulsa’s Black Lives Matter chapter held a protest Monday outside Tulsa County Courthouse ahead of the police news conference to unveil the video of the shooting.
Seeking the Kingdom Ministries Pastor Mareo Johnson, a close friend of the father of four, told the Tulsa World he and members of Crutcher’s family saw the footage over the weekend.
“What I seen on the video was a man who had his hands up, to me look like in compliance with police officers,” Johnson said. “The only part was where he was walking back to his car, but he had his hands up. He was Tased and shot. We believe that was too much.”
Crutcher’s twin sister Tiffany Crutcher told reporters she knows the footage will prompt outrage and pleaded for protesters to avoid violence.
“I’m going to tell you right now, there was no gun on the suspect or in the suspect’s vehicle,” Police Chief Chuck Jordan said at a press conference Monday afternoon. “I want to assure our community and I want to assure all of you and people across the nation watching this: We will achieve justice.”
He declined to take any questions from the media or discuss more details about what he called a pending criminal investigation.
“I’ve got a subject that won’t show me his hands,” a female officer said in a dispatch recording. Another officer buzzed in to say he was en route to the scene near 36th St. N and Lewis Ave.
Yet the footage showed Crutcher walking back toward his car with his hands raised in the air. He placed his hands on the side of his SUV.
Four officers surrounded him, and they obscured what happened at the moment police said he had been hit with the stun gun and the shot from Shelby’s gun.
Lights out, another unarmed black man shot and killed by the police! In most cases that’s the end of the story!