Crutcher family calls for termination of Betty Shelby, homicide investigator
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Tiffany Crutcher, the twin sister of Terence Crutcher, said at a news conference Thursday that Betty Shelby should never be allowed back on the streets with a gun and called on the police chief to take Shelby's badge.
The Crutcher family and their attorneys joined Tulsa faith leaders at Morning Star Baptist Church following last night's verdict in Betty Shelby's manslaughter case. Shelby, a Tulsa police officer, was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher.
"We submit our request that Betty Shelby never gets back out there on the street with a gun," said Tiffany Crutcher, speaking alongside attorneys Benjamin Crump and Damario Solomon-Simmons.
Crutcher said the trial shined a light on Shelby's "violent tendencies" and abuse allegations from her children.
"Her temperament is unfit to serve and protect our community," said Crutcher.
Crutcher said she listened to the mayor and police chief speak Thursday morning and agreed with them when they said changes need to be made. Crutcher said Mayor G.T. Bynum "has already put in place some things we presented to him a month ago," adding that they are pleased the mayor and police officers will have body cameras by the end of the end of the year.
In addition to Shelby's firing, Crutcher called for the termination of Sgt. Dave Walker, the Tulsa Police Department's lead homicide investigator. Crutcher said Walker testified under oath that he treated Shelby differently than the average homicide suspect throughout the investigation, specifically when he showed Shelby police video of the shooting prior to her making a statement. Walker later responded to the allegations.
Crutcher asked that all police officers be certified in first aid and CPR and Crump later added that police need implicit bias training.
Crutcher said citizens of Tulsa have harassed her on social media since the verdict with some saying her brother was a thug and an addict who deserved to die.
"All night long I've been harassed, and so for the City of Tulsa to state that we're all one and we're all coming together, I beg to differ," said Crutcher.
Crutcher said her brother struggled with the same issues millions of other Americans have.
"We don't want Terence's name to be considered just another hashtag ... We won't rest. We don't shake, we shift."
Crump said the verdict was the equivalent of watching "Tulsa police execute Terence Crutcher again." He said this isn't a black thing or a white thing. This is a right thing or a wrong thing.
"When we look at that video, is that not injustice?" said Crump.
Crump said Shelby could have used another method of force, and now as they stand up for Terence Crutcher, "what we're really doing is helping America stand up to its creed."
Solomon-Simmons said now is the time to put together a case for full justice for the Crutcher family, and he and Crump are prepared to move forward with their case against the city.
"We want immediate, tangible, substantial reforms," said Solomon-Simmons.
Dr. Rodney Goss, pastor at Morning Star Baptist Church, said the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police influenced the trial and swayed public opinion. The family has said in recent days that the FOP's campaign against Crutcher put him on trial rather than Shelby.
Goss said "it is imperative" that the City of Tulsa take care of Crutcher's children.
Dr. Ray Owens, pastor at Metropolitan Baptist Church said justice has not been served.
"I've heard city leaders say justice has been served," said Owens. "That is a lie."
Owens spoke briefly about the demonstrations in Tulsa since the verdict.
"The absence of violence does not suggest the presence of peace," said Owens. "Until this city does right by the legacy and life of Terence Crutcher, there will be no peace."
The family ended their news conference in prayer.
The jury deliberated for more than nine hours before returning a "not guilty" verdict, which was announced just before 10 p.m. Wednesday. A crowd of demonstrators quickly formed outside the Tulsa County Courthouse, holding hands and shouting "hands up, don't shoot."
Marching through the streets of downtown Tulsa, protesters chanted "no justice, no peace" while walking toward the Mayo Hotel where Shelby and her attorneys were thought to be, though her location was never confirmed.
Tensions continued for hours as demonstrators blocked traffic near 5th and Denver. Police warned of arrests but none were made and no violence occurred.
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