Betty Shelby, Oklahoma officer charged in Terence Crutcher's death, released on bond



The Oklahoma officer at the center of a firestorm over the use of police force, Betty Shelby, turned herself in to authorities for manslaughter charges Friday morning in Tulsa, and was released on $50,000 bond.

Shelby is accused of killing of an unarmed black man, Terence Crutcher, after his SUV broke down last week.

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Prosecutors allege that "fear resulted in her unreasonable actions which led her to shooting." They said Friday in a statement that Shelby "unlawfully and unnecessarily" shot Crutcher.

The affidavit alleges Shelby "reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation from a confrontation with Mr. Crutcher, who was not responding to verbal commands and was walking away from her with his hands held up, becoming emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted."

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"This is a small victory," said Crutcher's twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher. "The chain breaks here. We're going to break the chains of police brutality... We know the history."

Footage of the shooting and its aftermath showed Crutcher walking away from the officer with his arms in the air, but the footage does not provide a clear view of when Shelby fired the fatal shot. Shelby's attorneys say she fired at Crutcher because he reached into his SUV window.

"I pray this decision provides some peace to the Crutcher family and the people of Tulsa," Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., said in statement. "But we must remain patient as the case works its way through the justice system, where a jury likely will be asked to decide whether officer Betty Shelby is guilty of the crime. And we must remember that in our justice system, officer Shelby is innocent until proven guilty."