Tulsa, OK — Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby will not spend a day in prison for killing 40-year-old Terence Crutcher. In fact, according to officials on Friday, Shelby will be allowed to return to her job on the police force.

Tulsa police Chief Chuck Jordan said in an email Friday Shelby will once again be a police officer with his department but would not be allowed to patrol Tulsa’s streets.

Shelby’s trial concluded this week when she was found “not guilty” of manslaughter Wednesday, by a jury of her peers. The jurors also wanted to go on record as saying she is not without blame.

Shannon McMurray, Shelby’s lawyer didn’t appear convinced her client would return to the force, even expressing doubt it would be a good idea. “She’s going to self-guess herself and get herself killed or somebody else,” McMurray said, implying she may still be a danger to society. She’s been on unpaid administrative leave since September when she was charged with manslaughter.

Crutcher’s family isn’t waiting around for their son and father’s killer to make up her mind whether or not to return to the police department. According to the Associated Press (AP) they’re petitioning the city to prevent such a reinstatement of her employment.


Crutcher’s death was captured on video from a police helicopter which was flying overhead. Shelby’s husband, Dave Shelby, was in the chopper and watched as his wife made the decision to shoot Crutcher, who died from his injuries.

Shelby even took her case to the court of public opinion, granting an interview with 60 Minutes where she discussed the shooting in detail.

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In her interview with 60 Minutes she said Crutcher wasn’t obeying her commands and was acting “Zombie-like.” She said she began to fear when he ignored her orders. “I’m thinking he’s calculating how he can get to his vehicle to get whatever weapon it is that he’s going to get because he didn’t find it in his pocket,” she said.

She described the moment she fired. “It’s like slow motion of me bringing my gun up, my finger coming in and then letting off. And he stopped and then he just slowly fell to the ground.”

She then blamed her shooting Crutcher — on Crutcher.

In court, the AP described her defense team’s strategy:

Shelby said she fired her weapon out of fear because Crutcher ignored her commands to lie down and appeared to reach inside his SUV for what she thought was a gun. But prosecutors said she overreacted, arguing that Crutcher had his hands in the air and wasn’t combative, part of which was confirmed by police video that showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his hands above his head.

The father’s killing drew outrage from the community and the nation as a whole. As The Free Thought Project has reported, there is an apparent epidemic of police-involved shootings which has led, by some estimates, to the deaths of over 1,000 people per year. The number may, in fact, be higher, as no government entity currently tracks Deaths by Cop.

Tulsa’s mayor G.T. Bynum addressed reporters following the “not guilty” verdict. “We have a long way to go, as a city, when one part of our city is synonymous with an entire race. We have a long way to go, as a city, when people keep expecting lawlessness from African Americans in response to an incident or a verdict.”

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Addressing the racial disparity he observes in his city, Bynum said, “I would remind Tulsans that our history shows us African Americans in Tulsa have not been the instigators of lawlessness, and riots. They have been the victims of them. So I would ask that we not keep assuming the worst from a part of our community that has been exposed to the worst in this city’s history.”

Bynum says his time spent with the Crutcher family shows him they’re “really good people.” Speaking of the loss of their loved one he said, “His parents have had to bury a son. His kids will have to grow up without a dad who loves them. His sister, all of her best memories of her brother will be memories. There will be no more new ones.”

On Friday, an unusual action was taken on behalf of the jury. The twelve members (3 of whom were Black) issued a post-trial statement. According to the AP, they presented a “post-trial court filing on Friday [indicating] that Shelby could have used a less-lethal method to subdue Crutcher and could have saved his life. The foreman of the jury also says in a three-page memo that jurors weren’t comfortable with the idea that Shelby was ‘blameless’ in Crutcher’s death.”

McMurray acknowledged her client could have chosen a less-than-lethal method of subduing Crutcher but added her client had to make a “split-second” decision.

Just like that — cops can kill unarmed, non-violent, and arguably innocent fathers on video, and not only be acquitted — but still be cops.

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Jack Burns is an educator, journalist, investigative reporter, and advocate of natural medicine
  • Abz B Zbas

    How is it possible to exonerate her while at the same time blaming her?

  • P. Douglas

    The jury can say whatever it wants now, but they let someone who’s totally unfit to deal with the public back on the streets. The woman is an idiot for believing every encounter with a citizen could end in her death, but her department is complicit because it drills that into trainees’ heads to the point where they can’t use their own judgement to evaluate danger or its absence. Cops probably are ‘in fear for their lives’ a lot, but far more often than than reality warrants, and the result of all that fear-mongering is jittery, frightened idiots with firearms, a loose understanding of the law, and the consequence-free power to kill anyone they ‘perceive’ as a threat. None of which excuses the jury of cop-suckers. They had the chance to hold that unrepentent sociopath and her department responsible for a killing which would have gotten any civilian convicted of murder, and they declined.

  • IceTrey

    Six Fullerton cops beat schizophrenic and homeless Kelley Thomas to death with their bare hands on video and got off. This is not surprising.

    • Zackknowitall

      Only got away with it due to the fact his family isn’t willing to make them pay.

      • Anonymous

        Huh? What???

    • Anonymous

      You need to understand something about Orange County, CA. (We don’t know if you live here or not, but, if you do, then it is for the benefit of those who don’t). Orange County is copsucker central! There is a better chance of a clearly innocent man getting the death penalty for theft than a bad cop getting even a slap on the wrist. It’s not just Kelly Thomas. When 2 Los Angeles County deputies beat, nearly killing, Johnnie Franklin Jones, they got nothing either. Even though one of them couldn’t even get his story straight…so Scott Harper, what was it? Was he doing drugs? Or was he urinating? Or was he about to expose himself? The DA threw out the case, saying these pigs didn’t even have PC to stop him!!! However, in the lawsuit that followed, the jury was afraid to find for the victim of these hellacious beating. Even though they beat him within an inch of his life, they claimed “he fought us with super human strength!” So, sound familiar?

      They claimed he HAD to have been on drugs, yet a tox screen showed…NOTHING! They even claimed that during the struggle, he actually stopped fighting so he could swallow his drugs! Like he asked for a timeout!!!

      Both of these pigs are still with the department. One of them, Scott Harper, has a history of racism. However, the corrupt department has insisted on taking his side every time.

      So, what happened at the civil trial? Well, the jury refused to find for the plaintiff, saying that they were afraid to, for fear of disparaging all cops! So, they refused to go against a bad cop because they were afraid that good cops would be disparaged by doing so!!!

  • Lord Humungus

    I hope she does get herself killed.

  • Timothy Gray

    It’s too bad he wasn’t reaching for his gun (in self defence). If you thugs hadn’t already had him surrounded, he might still be alive today. But either way this innocent man was as good as dead. If not by your skank ass, “officer” Shelby, then by the “justice” system. You proud of yourself you Nazi CUNT?

  • Zackknowitall

    Guess we will find out if the family is the eye for an eye type.

    I know these people exist out there and forsee the day in which the revenge wrongful murders such as this.

    • Guy

      I think that perhaps, there will be a long line ahead of you who will want to have first dibs at the cupie doll !

      • Zackknowitall

        I’m not in that line. I would be if it was my loved one.

  • Raimundo Gant

    When you start recognizing police as US soldiers and citizens as potential terrorists then it makes a lot more sense. There’s a war between the police and American citizens right now.

    • Gordon Klock

      They really don’t want us figuring that out…

  • Guy

    No Justice ! No Peace !

    No matter what color, creed or religion you may be. You are all the same here under the eyes of God and Man’s Courts !

    A Bullet does not need to know about discrimination, it just is, no matter who fires it !

  • Isabella Jones

    And this is the country that dares to claim it “brings democracy” to other free sovereign states. That dares to accuse Russia of every crime in the book, but where this sort of police action is unheard of.
    They are damn lucky they didn’t me as a family member of a murdered by police to deal with.

  • Gordon Klock

    Sounds like Mr. Crutchner never had a chance, they must have hobbled the jury, with “specific definitions”,& weird rules, in relation to this case, hence the frustrated ‘she’s not without blame’, statement, attached to the (highly questionable), ‘not guilty’ verdict…

    • Guy

      Just curious Mr Klock. Are you in the legal profession or a attorney ? Perhaps you are too smart to be, and doing something else that is more worthy or enlightening for your time. But I often find your replies and answers both straight to the point, without the color of a lot of words thrown in for effect, and pretty much *Right On !* Thinking that you are that, or maybe a teacher of some sort !

      • Gordon Klock

        I’m just a flaky artist, who tries to value the actual truth . The weird way I talk, may give the impression, that I’m ‘smart’, or something, but I assure you, I’m just as ‘f*cking dumb’ as the next guy 😉 When I started noticing (what seemed to be) the scary truth, when I was a kid, I didn’t necessarily believe the cosmetic explanations, given by ‘authority figures’, nor my own peers, or even my own family, often making things a bit difficult for myself, whenever I ‘opened my mouth’ about many uncomfortable subjects, but resistance made my resolve, (& possibly my own unnoticed delusions), even stronger, & now we live in these scary times, were a lot of my, (& a fair number of other people’s), nightmare predictions, seem to be, more ‘real’ every day….

        • Guy

          Well that explains it. My son is one too, a artist and a flak to boot. Nothing *Weird* in either of you’s manner of talking as far as I can tell ithier. Patric (my son) is very articulate in his manner, thinking well befor he opens his mouth, only rarely putting his foot in it ! It does make it hard for me to have a argument with him, because we both think of ourselves being always right. but with him being a near perfect genius, (just ask him) it’s a lot more difficult now that he’s 33 than when he was 8 ! He paints murals on the S.F. highrise buildings now for a living and still going to Art Collage, on my dime, damn-it ! He’s the type that questions everything and makes em prove it, then never totally convinced they are accurate in the explanation ! He gives his instructors a hard time ! But let him it go most of the time, because he’s good at his craft and tolerated.

          Reality can be both ridiculous, and scary times for sure, for all that choose to see the ironies in life ! Believing most people don’t want to get involved with any of it. Preferring to just live for the moment with the security of their Iphones and 8-5 jobs, that keeps em broke to there eyeballs paying off credit cards, so they can play at life, rather to live it. I think I rather be broke but happy, rather than paying off Mastercharge and stupid, with BMW payments, that is never payed for, but making a bank richer ! I can say that now that I am 68, have lived a little, and watched a lot of others walk into walls, off cliffs, and into the open arms of the meg-a bankers, who are always glad to see em, and happy to extend em even more credit !

          So you must be a enlightened artist or a fool, as far as they are concerned, or both, and probably they are not pleased with you in either case !? Because you don’t play their game of suck up to the bank for extreme vacations to Tahiti, is what I think. If so, good for
          you ! Keep on chatting away here, and I will keep on reading what you have to say with interest ! Oh ! What about your artwork ? Is it in galleries or sold. or out there for the masses to see ? Like the Monai Paintings we just went to see at the S.F. Legion of Art Museum ?
          Wow ! There was a guy who knew his stuff at 20, in the late 1800’s. Simply amazing what he could do with a little dab of oil paint on canvas, a splotch was people and water ripples !

          • Gordon Klock

            Maybe I’m just an “enlightened fool”, I’m about 11 years your junior, & have also watched many people get suckered into various scams, (somehow I managed to avoid the really bad ones, sometimes only by ‘blind luck’), “credit” being a word, I came to generally distrust, early on…
            Good to hear that your “passing the torch” to your son, regrettably, I never got to have any kids, (at least,not any that I know of), but many of my friends also seem to have imparted a fair amount of knowledge to their kids, but whether it does them any good, considering the seeming ‘lateness’ of these spooky times, remains to be seen…

          • Guy

            Matthew the other one, dumped this state (CA) a few years ago and escaped to Alaska, along with his wife and two lab dogs. Now they are as happy as clams, living a life most others dream about, while many others spend huge sums of money as tourist trying too. He works as a planner for a small community town & she as a school teacher, paying no state taxes, and able to buy a house on acreage, for far less than what they had as choices too here.
            No need to regret, not propagating yourself, many choose not to for a variety of reasons and are perfectly happy as the results of not doing so ! It’s easy to have kids, it’s what is done with em afterward, is the hard part, as I see it. Witnessing it myself many times as a Coach to hundreds of the little devils, and dealing with many, many parents along the way. Then being a parent myself and going through thouse pitfalls, landmines and bobie traps, set by a lot of good minded, helpful and authoritative minded folks, that think they know it all, because having some sort of degree say’s they do, and I don’t !

            So what’s your artwork, or if you prefer not to say, it’s cool, this is a public forum, and for some not convenient. Or necessary as my business.

  • palvadore

    Civilians are acceptable collateral damage.

    She looks promising for a municipal police chief.

  • John C Carleton

    he reason LAW ENFORCEMENT, are murdering Americans in cold blood, is because thats what your Washington DC senators, congressmen, president, FBI, Attorney General want, or it would not be allowed to happen.

  • Real Truth stings

    Isn’t white culture great? You empower murderers, create double standards of law, then spend most every day terrified that the same will be done to you and yours. You know that this Arizona white woman was not going to spend the rest of her life in jail, for killing a black man….not in Arizona.

    Take a good look at the criminal society you created and the jack booted thugs that you protect. Now she will be back on the street, looking to panic, kill again.

    • Guy

      I almost agree with you, except the part about *White Culture Being Great.* Leave that out and just insert A Woman being afraid of a Man, and I believe you will be closer to the actual truth. Otherwise you are calling the African Americans who served on the jury, “Uncle Tom’s* Was that your intent ?

      • Real Truth stings

        I am calling out white culture for it’s addiction to injustice. you can’t fixate on this specific case if you so choose. but it would be the same as eyeballing a drop of rain in a storm. The core dysfunction that keeps america weak is it’s white culture and those trapped inside with fear, hate and ultimately evil. Those who reject the programming are damned as “liberals”, when they are is just decent people who won’t trade their souls for an illusion of superiority. I hope I answered your question.

        • Guy

          You did indeed !

        • Domina Elle

          Whatever. If black people had every position of power I don’t believe for a second it would be any different than it is. We are talking HUMANS.

          • Real Truth stings

            You assume that because that is YOUR culture, YOUR normal. You think that this is human nature to give yourselves a pass on your history of crimes AGAINST humanity. This is why your culture is so evil and stagnant. You never own up to your deeds. But you hypocritical depend that all others be responsible for theirs. Let me show you a simple example of the disease you are suffering from,

            Whenever the police fk up, break the law, etc, the victim is always blamed for the mistakes they made in dealing with the police. The victim must respond calmly, politely and follow every rule or command, be perfect. While the police are allowed to be panicked, scared , drugged up, and completely misread the situation but they are given a pass for these human failings. They are allowed to fear for their lives even when it’s just their own cowardice. Their victims are not allowed human emotions. To white culture, black lives are meaningless. Whites lives and futures are precious and must be protected. To make the absurdity go one step further, white culture would rather pay billions to the victims family, than fire and prosecute bad cops. Think on this schism.

          • Guy

            I prefer to leave the “White Culture” thing out of the equation and just say all cultures, as being inclusive of the U.S. where we all happen to live at the present time.

            But do see your point, and agree with some of it.

            So to add to the debate, what would be you argument, if it were flipped around ?

          • Real Truth stings

            you prefer not to lay the blame on our problems on our lead culture because you are mostly a member. This isn’t all cultures driving this blockage to needed police reform. its just one.

            if black people were the majority, as an example, they would be held to account for the problems of society. That’s the other side of being the majority. as things stand, blacks are blamed for all of society’s problems by whites because that is better than blaming yourselves. think about it another way. If you are the problem, by way of population, then you are also the solution. nobody else has the numbers to drive solutions except whites. If you don’t want this job, then step aside and let other groups forge superior solutions to our nation’s ills.

          • Guy

            Damn it ! Don’t drag me into your argument of right vs wrong or White vs, Black. I will not be baited by you, no matter what you say, seeing no point in it and totally one sided by the very nature of racial disparities being a factor in how we deal with law enforcement caused by a preception of others !

            I said I agree with some of what you had to say and will leave it at
            that !

          • Real Truth stings

            Truth is not bait. Truth is it’s own agenda.

            Go to YouTube. Type in police brutality and watch reality in real time.

          • Guy

            Depends on whose version of the truth you are talking about ! No doubt even a blind and deaf man will see and hear truth when it’s
            there !

            Too much noise is made in our country about race, granting the fact that there is still discrimination from all thouse that do. I recognize it for what it is ! But not a part of it myself !
            The noise is what keeps the separation alive and kicking ! Just like 24/7 *He’s Not My President Does Too*!

  • Robin W. Tong

    This officer had a hysterical meltdown and engaged in sympathetic fire when she heard the sound of a taser, thereby murdering a man, and, after being coached and walked through all the video by her fellow officers then she engaged in the “I feared for my life” defense to get off at trial.

    It is fucking disgusting that our government sanctions that its officers and agents can kill and murder people with immunity. It is even worse when our fellow citizens sanction and justify this bullshit because of their own bias an prejudices. Now that she has murdered once, she will be even more likely to murder again. How many more people will have to die because of this fucking bullshit?

  • Anonymous

    WE THE PEOPLE need to start letter writing campaigns about this demanding that this stop. Until WE THE PEOPLE get angry about it and say “WE ARE MAD AS HELL ABOUT THIS AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!” this shit is NOT going to stop.

  • Put em in a coffin

    she needs the chair

  • tom browne

    they knew the fix was in by allowing her to go on 60 minutes. how you can decide not guilty from that video is insane?! and it was not a “split second” decision. there was over a minute of following the man. yes she could have used a non lethal method. like DOING NOTHING! Anyway she dont belong in jail but a padded cell in a looney bin. please

  • Mother Earth

    This is the officers fist kill, after the first it just gets easier. What sort of administration allows this behaviour but Americas, the brutal shall reign and the weak shall perish.

  • Domina Elle

    Making it a ‘racial issue’ is never going to bring about the policy changes needed. When will people realize this? I wish it were enough I wish it was an effective strategy, but it’s not for a long list of reasons.

  • Ibcamn

    the criminal got a paid vacation and her old job back with pay….terrorists,all cops……