terencecrutcherap

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An unarmed black man shot dead in the middle of a Tulsa street last week by a white police officer had run-ins with the law dating back to his teenage years and recently served a four-year stint in prison.

But those closest to Terence Crutcher described him as a church-going father who was beginning to turn his life around. After marking his 40th birthday with his twin sister last month, Crutcher sent her a text that read, “I’m gonna show you, I’m gonna make you all proud.”

Crutcher was due to start a music appreciation class at a local community college on Friday, the day he was fatally shot by Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby after she responded to a report of a stalled vehicle.

The shooting was captured in graphic detail by a police helicopter and a cruiser dashcam, though it’s not clear from that footage what led Shelby to draw her gun or what orders officers gave Crutcher. An attorney for Crutcher’s family said Crutcher committed no crime and gave officers no reason to shoot.

Shelby was put on paid administrative leave while local and federal officials investigate the shooting.

Crutcher’s criminal history includes a 1995 arrest in nearby Osage County in which officers reported that they saw him fire his weapon out a vehicle window. Records obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday show that when Crutcher was ordered to exit the vehicle for a pat-down search, he began making a movement to his right ankle before an officer managed to get control of Crutcher. A .25-caliber pistol was found in his right sock, the arresting officer wrote in an affidavit.

Crutcher eventually entered a no-contest plea to charges of carrying a weapon and resisting an officer, and he received suspended sentences, court records show.

Oklahoma prison officials confirmed Tuesday that Crutcher also served four years in prison from 2007 to 2011 on a Tulsa County drug trafficking conviction.

The Tulsa World reported that officers used force against Crutcher at least four times, including a 2012 arrest on public intoxication and obstruction complaints. According to a probable cause affidavit in that case, an officer used a stun gun on Crutcher twice while he was face down on the ground because the officer said Crutcher didn’t comply with at least three orders to show his hands. Crutcher’s father showed up while he was being arrested and told the officers that his son had “an ongoing problem” with PCP, the affidavit states.

Crutcher’s family could not be reached for comment on his criminal record. But an attorney for his family, Melvin Hall, said those details weren’t known by police at the scene.

“Nobody claimed that he was a perfect individual. Who is perfect? But that night he was not a criminal,” Hall said. “He did not have any warrants. He had not done anything wrong. He had a malfunctioning vehicle, and he should have been treated accordingly.”

On Friday, two 911 calls describing an SUV that had been abandoned in the middle of the road preceded the fatal encounter between Crutcher and the police. One unidentified caller said the driver of the stalled vehicle was acting strangely, adding, “I think he’s smoking something.”

Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker told the Tulsa World that investigators found a vial of PCP in Crutcher’s SUV, but he declined to say where in the vehicle they found it or whether they had determined if Crutcher had used it Friday evening. Police said a toxicology report could take several weeks.

Attorneys for Crutcher’s family said the family didn’t know whether drugs were found in the SUV, but that even if they were, it wouldn’t justify police shooting him.

terencecrutcherap

PCP or phencyclidine, also called angel dust, can cause slurred speech, loss of coordination and a sense of strength or invulnerability, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. At high doses, it can cause hallucinations and paranoia.

Police video shows Crutcher walking toward his SUV, which is stopped in the middle of the road. His hands are up and a female officer is following him. As Crutcher approaches the driver’s side, more officers arrive and Crutcher appears to lower his hands and place them on the vehicle before the officers surround him.

Crutcher can be seen dropping to the ground. Someone on the police radio says, “I think he may have just been tasered.” Then almost immediately, someone can be heard yelling, “Shots fired!” and Crutcher is left lying in the street.

Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Monday that Crutcher had no weapon on him or in his SUV.

Shelby’s attorney, Scott Wood, said Crutcher wasn’t following the officers’ commands and that Shelby was concerned because he kept reaching for his pocket as if he had a weapon.

“He has his hands up and is facing the car and looks at Shelby, and his left hand goes through the car window, and that’s when she fired her shot,” Wood told the Tulsa World.

But attorneys for Crutcher’s family challenged that claim Tuesday, presenting an enlarged photo from the police footage that appeared to show that Crutcher’s window was rolled up.

Local and federal investigations are underway to determine whether Crutcher’s civil rights were violated and whether Shelby should face charges. Hundreds of protesters rallied Tuesday night outside police headquarters in downtown Tulsa calling for her firing.

The shooting comes four months after ex-Tulsa County volunteer was sentenced to four years in prison for killing an unarmed black suspect last year. The deputy said meant to use his stun gun on the suspect, but mistakenly shot him with his firearm.

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(Photo Source: AP

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8 thoughts on “Family: Tulsa Shooting Victim Was Turning His Life Around

  1. I will be glad when the sleeping giants awakens!! If our youths who live in the inner city’s ever wake up and stop killing each other, these white peoples who don’t want to address the problem, will really have something to worry about!! They think the shootings in Dallas was something!! 👮🏻🔫 #BLM

  2. These Nicca’s always on the cusp of turning their life around. Well his lengthy rap sheet proves otherwise. Mo-fo been arrested more times than El Chapo. Those Officers knew exactly the threat he posed because they’ve dealt with him numerous times.
    Why don’t we put our time in effort into defending an innocent black person who was wrongly killed by racist police? Because we can’t find any. It’s always drugged up hoods that magically learned to read a book after he was shot.
    Come on Man’

    • You are truly one of the most disrespectful people that troll on this website. If you have nothing positive to say, or nothing to offer to help people move forward don’t say a damn thing. Excuse me, don’t bother to type a damn thing.

    • specialt757 on said:

      Corey Jones was gunned down in FL by an “undercover” cop after his car broke down, didn’t hear about a criminal record. I didn’t you see a defensive comment from you.
      As a matter of fact your comments are always offensive, why is that? You had a bad childhood? Your daddy left you when you were two? You were bullied in school? Are you a scholar w/o a dollar? Exactly wth is your malfunction? I’m pretty sure you could benefit from some God in your life, try HIM when all else fails.

  3. He could have been El Chapo’s sidekick in previous years, but on THAT day, Mr. Crutcher had his hands raised over his head, was tasered and then shot while he lay on the ground. I don’t know why he was walking toward his car. However, he could not have, as the cops have stated been reaching into his car because the window was rolled all the way up. If Mr. Crutcher was high on PCP, he may have been confused and he may have been making suspicious moves while he lay on the ground. However, there was no way that smiley faced goon had to kill him. She shot him because she wanted to. And another thing, if he was being so threatening, why is she the only one that feared for her life? No one else fired on Mr. Crutcher.

  4. STOPTHEKILLINGS on said:

    IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT HE DID BEFORE BECAUSE THEY DID NOT HAVE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF THAT. WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT WAS HAPPENING ON THAT SCENE AT THAT MOMENT. HE HAD HIS HANDS UP, THE WINDOWN WAS ROLLED UP, HE WAS TAZED, WHY WAS THERE A NEED TO SHOOT HIM WHEN HE WAS DOWN AFTER BEING TAZED? WHY DO THESE OFFICERS HAVE THIS TASTE FOR BLOOD FROM A BLAK MAN THEY WISH SPILL SO BADLY? NO MATTER HOW MANY YOU KILL WE WILL STILL RISE, WE WILL STILL BE A PRESENCE TO BE RECKONED WITH AND THAT RECKONING DAY IS COMING TRUST AND BELIEVE THAT. WE ARE A STRONG AND GOD FEARING PEOPLE, NO T A PEOPLE FEARING PEOPLE. AND WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND WE STAND STRONG AND UNDIVIDED WE WILL BE UNITED AND UNSTOPPABLE. THESE KILLINGS MUST STOP!!!!!

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