Veteran lawman defends homicide detective criticized for Betty Shelby investigation
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) - A former head of the Tulsa Police Department's Homicide Unit says the current leader of that unit is the right man for the job.
Sergeant Dave Walker has been on the defensive since the "not guilty" verdict came in for Officer Betty Shelby. She was cleared in the shooting of Terence Crutcher, but the Crutcher family demands Walker be fired. They contend he showed favoritism in his treatment of Shelby.
Mike Huff is retired after more than 30 years in that the homicide unit and 16 as the supervisor. He was also a consultant for Shelby's defense team who said he had a complete view of the entire case.
Huff said Walker did everything according to department policy.
He said, "It's unfortunate that it's gone this far, but I hope that people take step back and breath and just process this whole situation and not get that personal."
Huff said he sympathizes with the loss the Crutcher family faces, but the verdict is the end of the criminal case.
The Shelby case was filled with speculation on the streets and there were rumors and different versions of the facts being discussed.
Huff says Walker worked hard to get the real facts on paper in detail.
"It's not like a two-page report. It's like a thesis for every report -- 25, 30 35 pages, lines after line of facts."
Huff said you shouldn't kill the messenger because you don't like the facts.
He added that Walker has a national reputation for doing one of the toughest jobs on earth.
"There's a burden that you carry on each case, that keeps you up at night," Huff said. "It goes with you 24 hours a day."