Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Affirmative action hire kills innocent black man.

Associated Press September 20, 2016
TULSA, Okla. — An attorney for a white Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man said the man ignored officers’ commands, kept touching his pocket and was reaching through a window of his SUV when he was killed.
Police video from the incident Friday shows 40-year-old Terence Crutcher walking away from the officers and toward his SUV with his hands up, then approaching the side of his vehicle before an officer shocks him with a stun gun and he is fatally shot. Police were called to the scene to respond to a report of a stalled vehicle.
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Terence Crutcher poses with his twin sister, Tiffany.Photo: Parks & Crump, LLC via AP
Police Chief Chuck Jordan announced Monday, before the video and audio recordings were released, that Crutcher had no weapon on him or in his SUV when he was shot. It’s not clear from the footage what led Betty Shelby, the officer who fired the fatal shot, to draw her gun or what orders officers gave Crutcher. Shelby’s attorney, Scott Wood, said Crutcher was not following the officers’ commands and that Shelby was concerned because he kept reaching for his pocket as if he was carrying 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 for a report Tuesday.

Local and federal investigations are under way to determine whether criminal charges are warranted in the shooting or if Crutcher’s civil rights were violated.
Tulsa police helicopter footage was among several clips showing the shooting of Crutcher and its aftermath. In that video, a man in the helicopter that arrives above the scene as Crutcher walks to the vehicle can be heard saying “time for a Taser.” He then says: “That looks like a bad dude, too. Probably on something.”
Crutcher’s twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher, called for charges Monday.
“The big bad dude was my twin brother. That big bad dude was a father,” she said. “That big bad dude was a son. That big bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College, just wanting to make us proud. That big bad dude loved God. That big bad dude was at church singing with all of his flaws, every week. That big bad dude, that’s who he was.”
Police video shows Crutcher walking toward his SUV that 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 of the SUV, three male officers walk up and Crutcher appears to lower his hands and place them on the vehicle. The officers surround him, making it harder to see his actions from the dashboard camera’s angle.
Crutcher can be seen dropping to the ground. Someone on the police radio says, “I think he may have just been tasered.” One of the officers near Crutcher backs up slightly.
Then almost immediately, someone can be heard yelling, “Shots fired!” Crutcher’s head then drops, leaving him completely lying out in the street.
After that, someone on the police radio can be heard saying, “Shots fired. We have one suspect down.”
Officer Tyler Turnbough, who is also white, used a stun gun on Crutcher, police said. Shelby’s attorney, Wood, said Turnbough fired the stun gun at the same time Shelby opened fire because both perceived a threat.
The shooting comes just four months after former Tulsa County volunteer deputy Robert Bates was sentenced to four years in prison on a second-degree manslaughter conviction in the 2015 death of an unarmed black man. Bates said he mistakenly grabbed his gun instead of his Taser. Shelby worked as a Tulsa County sheriff’s deputy for four years before joining the Tulsa Police Department in December 2011, officials said. She has been placed on paid leave.
The initial moments of Crutcher’s encounter with police are not shown in the footage, and Wood said the situation unfolded for about two minutes before the videos began. Shelby did not activate her patrol car’s dashcam, said police spokeswoman Jeanne MacKenzie, and the ground-level video released Monday came from the car of a second officer who arrived at the scene.
Initial police briefings indicated Crutcher was not obeying officers’ commands, but MacKenzie said Monday she didn’t know what Crutcher was doing that prompted police to shoot. Two 911 calls described an SUV that had been abandoned in the middle of the road. One unidentified caller said the driver was acting strangely, adding, “I think he’s smoking something.”
After the shooting, Crutcher could be seen lying on the side of the road, blood pooling around his body, for nearly two minutes before anyone checked on him. When asked why police did not provide immediate assistance, MacKenzie said: “I don’t know that we have protocol on how to render aid to people.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, which also called for charges, said Crutcher was left to bleed while officers stood by. The group’s executive director, Ryan Kiesel, said Crutcher’s death shows “how little regard” Tulsa police have for the community’s minorities.
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the county courthouse Monday evening holding signs that read, “Justice 4 Crutch” and “Don’t Shoot.”
US Attorney Danny C. Williams said the Department of Justice will conduct a civil rights investigation to determine if charges should be brought in the case.
Speaking Monday in Tulsa, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said Crutcher committed no crime and gave officers no reason to shoot him.
“When unarmed people of color break down on the side of the road, we’re not treated as citizens needing help. We’re treated as, I guess, criminals — suspects that they fear,” said Crump, who is representing Crutcher’s family just as he did relatives of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, black Florida teenager who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012.
He said Tulsa police drew their own conclusions about Crutcher.
“So I guess it’s a crime now to be a big black man,” Crump said. “My God, help us.”


edutcher said...

Another of Willie's many legacies. He promised to put thousands more cops on the street.

To do that, of course, meant tossing any kind of standard.

Third Coast said...

Reports are now saying PCP was found in his car. Only PCP intoxication can explain how the guy managed to "stall" his car in the middle of a road. That being said, she should have only given him a flesh wound in his calf...or something BLM would approve of.

ricpic said...

Why didn't he keep his hands up? All he had to do was keep his hands up. Yes, such terrible demands for minimal self-control.

Sixty Grit said...

We have reviewed this before - do as the cop orders, you have to live to have your day in court.

Do not frighten the police - they are armed and they will kill you.

Do not reach into your vehicle.

If tased, try your best to not twitch in a threatening manner.

Know, above all, that in any interaction with the police you might end up dead.

Above all, do not ingest PCP and drive, even if Rotney King is your hero.

The good news is - in this day and age your family will now get a much larger payday than you could ever have provided had you lived.

XRay said...

While I don't necessarily disagree with the general consensus here the video that I watched was awful. After the shoot, which wasn't clear, three officers walking backwards, arms almost locked, blocking the dashcam view of the lead car, then another patrol car careening in to totally block the view of the scene. Stinky shit. Really stinky shit. Good shoot or bad shoot, the cover-up is the worst.

XRay said...

I don't really, I mean really, trust cops. I've known too many with... issues.
Or, maybe I don't trust anyone.

When they hand me my speeding ticket to sign and I habitually reach for the pen in my shirt pocket, not the one proffered. Well, signal to shoot, right.

I know I'm being absurd. But so is the world, just now.

It's fucked up and I hate it.

chickelit said...

The officer in the photo has a 7-pointed star badge. I've never seen that!

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

We are too far away to tell what is going on, but there is no way in hell you get to walk back to your car and reach in under those circumstances. Normal protocol would be you stay in one spot and the cops then search your vehicle. But I will reserve judgment to see if more info comes out.

Rabel said...

Reno uses the 7-pointed star.