|Tulsa Cop Betty Shelby|
On Thursday, prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma filed manslaughter charges against a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on a city street.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges against officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16. The dashcam and aerial footage of the shooting and its aftermath depicted 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 Crutcher. Shelby's attorney has said Crutcher was not following police commands and that she opened fire when the man began to reach into his SUV window.
But Crutcher's family, however, denies that claim, saying the father of four posed no threat to the officers. Police have verified that Crutcher did not have a gun on him or in his vehicle.
Shelby has been a member of the Tulsa Police Department since December of 2011. She was en route to a domestic violence call when she encountered Crutcher's vehicle abandoned on a city street, straddling the center 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 Crutcher approaching the driver's side of the SUV, then more officers walk up and 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."
As officers surround Crutcher, he suddenly drops to the ground. A voice heard on police radio says: "Shots fired!" The officers back away and Crutcher is left unattended on the street for about two minutes before an officer puts on medical gloves and begins to attend to him.
Earlier this year, a former volunteer deputy with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office was sentenced to four years in prison after he was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Eric Harris.