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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A white former Tulsa police officer who resigned after being acquitted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed motorist Terence Crutcher was sworn in Thursday as a reserve deputy sheriff in a neighboring county.

Wearing a firearm on her hip and dressed in a Rogers County Sheriff’s Office uniform, Betty Shelby took her oath of office at the agency in the nearby city of Claremore. While Shelby’s duties haven’t been determined, she will serve in a volunteer capacity and won’t be paid, said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.

Walton, who has been an ardent supporter of Shelby and a critic of the Tulsa County prosecutors who filed a manslaughter charge against her six days after the shooting, told reporters that Shelby’s first order of business will be to qualify on the gun range with a firearm, just like any other reserve deputy.

“It’s not a rinky-dink little deal where you just put a badge on and act like a police officer,” Walton said. “We’re looking at a police officer with 10 years of service. Betty comes to us as a certified police officer, a drug recognition expert; she teaches report writing.”

Reserve county deputy programs across the state came under scrutiny after the 2015 shooting death of an unarmed black man by a then-73-year-old reserve deputy in Tulsa who said he meant to use a stun gun instead of his firearm. The reserve, Robert Bates, was a fishing buddy and political donor to that county’s sheriff and who was found to have inadequate training. He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to prison, and the shooting led to the resignation of the longtime sheriff.

Walton said that case led him to conduct a comprehensive review of his department’s training requirements that found it to be “squeaky clean.”

Shelby, 43, was acquitted of manslaughter in May in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher. Shelby was on patrol Sept. 16, 2016, when she shot Crutcher as he stood with his hands up near his SUV in the middle of a Tulsa street.

She returned to the Tulsa Police Department in an administrative capacity two days after her acquittal but resigned in July, saying she felt isolated from other officers. Her resignation also brought to an end an internal investigation into her actions.

On the day Shelby was reinstated, the foreman of the jury that acquitted her said in a court filing that if Shelby had thought to use her stun gun before Crutcher reached his SUV, the decision “could have saved his life.” The foreman wrote that many jurors were not comfortable with the concept of Shelby being “blameless” in Crutcher’s death.

Shelby testified that she was scared because Crutcher appeared to be under the influence of drugs, didn’t obey her commands and looked like he was reaching inside his vehicle. Prosecutors told jurors that Shelby overreacted, noting that videos from a patrol car dashboard and a police helicopter showed Crutcher had his hands in the air.

Shelby’s swift return to the force after her acquittal roiled some black Tulsa leaders; one minister called it “a slap in the face” at a rally the following day.

Shelby read briefly from a prepared statement Thursday after a judge swore her in, saying she was honored to work with county residents and with a sheriff “who is dedicated to ensuring justice for all, whether they are law enforcement or a member of our community.”

Her attorney, Shannon McMurray, said Shelby will speak to a group of about 3,500 officers at a conference in Nashville, Tennessee, at the end of the month about how to be prepared if they are charged in a police shooting. McMurray said being a reserve deputy allows Shelby to “pick her hours” she works and “just give back; that’s her dream,” but she has yet to say how far she’ll go through with deputy training.

“I don’t know if she’s going to go patrolling or anything, that’s not in the future,” McMurray said.

Damario Solomon-Simmons, an attorney for the Crutcher family, said he couldn’t comment until he has consulted with family members.

Crutcher’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court in June against Shelby and the city of Tulsa. The suit seeks at least $75,000 in damages and calls for widespread reform in the Tulsa police department, including mandatory training for officers on managing suspects with mental health or substance abuse issues.

Walton said the feedback from other officers in the department and from the community has been overwhelmingly supportive of Shelby, and that hiring her on as a full-time deputy is a possibility in the future.

“It’s not a publicity stunt. It’s not a get-even deal,” Walton said. “It’s bringing in somebody with a passion for law enforcement.”


Murphy reported from Oklahoma City.

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29 thoughts on “Oklahoma Police Officer Now A Sheriff Dept. Volunteer

  1. Tom Joyner – this is your website – you have the power to ban Jhuf, Dr. Larry, mynure and other white racists that comment on this site!! PLEASE BAN THESE MOTHA FREAKERS!!!!

  2. specialt757 on said:

    damn you’re a simple minded fool. You started the conversation with Betty Klan being a good girl. I asked you why she was a good girl, was it because she’s white or because she killed a brother. You are a racist, so I wanted to understand your racist thought process. But never mind, racists only have one thought process, they hate everyone that’s not like them.

    • Joe Gonzales on said:

      This white trash prostitute who killed a black man by shooting him in the back shouldn’t being jail instead of being a free person. She is the lowest common denominator in society. I hope that White Ho does a f****** cancer or somebody fixes her up. I am so f****** pissed that a black man has no value at all. For the past 235 years since the Emancipation Act was signed very little has changed. We may be able to Mary White women and black women white men but that’s all has changed?. Very rich white people both Republicans and Democrats have put us in all this Misery we are in today. What makes y’all think the things are going to get any better by voting Democrats or voting Republicans tomorrow morning when you wake up you still be nothing but a worthless black person to both White Democrats and White do Republicans.

      • How about a credible black open heart surgeon? Oh, snap! Wait! Make that a credible black INVENTOR of open heart surgery Go ahead. Name him. And while you’re at it, stop being so damned silly.

    • OK first of all I was being facetious
      Second what does her race have to do with it
      Black cops shoot whites too and are acquitted of wrong doing
      Third another M. Brown Lie he was reaching in his vehicle NOT raising his hands when shot

      • How the funk did Michel brown get in this story?? He’s dead, let it go. Damn!!!!!!’

      • specialt757 on said:

        Her race has everything to do with it and so does the race of her victim. That’s the point of the entire reason we even know Betty Klan.

      • Diane I see you’re a product of the Liberal public education system so I’ll help you out,
        The narrative was {unarmed black man w/hands up shot by cop] just as with MB was a lie, comprehendo???
        Spec are you saying had a Black cop shot a white person we would not have heard of it???
        Youuuuuuu mean like the Black cop that shot the Ausie in her pajamas a few weeks back

    • Bitch, let me school your punk ass. Everyone knws what happened with “MB”. I’m tired of you bringing it up. It’s been 3 yrs. move on. Comprendo!!!!!

  3. specialt757 on said:

    Nothing we did not already know.
    It’s funny though, for blacks in this country, you don’t even have to be tried in a court of law and be presumed guilty and can’t work anywhere in the damn country, but whites can commit crimes and just go to the next town and work in their field and even make it into the White House. White privilege.

    • Well like OJ she was Acquitted meaning NO crime was commited as far as white privilege I will bet you there’s plenty of whites on death row wishing there was such a thing

      • specialt757 on said:

        As I stated early in my post, blacks don’t have to tried for a crime and be presumed guilty and not be able to work in their field again, ask Bill Cosby. That’s the distinction I was making. I realize Betty Klan was acquitted to my, along with other’s, disappointment, she should have been convicted but because we live in Amerikkka where white privilege reign supreme.

      • Speaking of Bill Cosby when is R. Kelly (a black man) going to jail or trial for that matter
        Regarding his years of proven escapades with under age girls?

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