Oklahoma Cop to Stand Trial in Shooting Death

Shelby, Crutcher

A White Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Black man will stand trial for second-degree manslaughter. A judge ruled Tuesday that there is enough evidence for Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby to be tried for shooting Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16. Shelby will be arraigned Dec. 15.

Prosecutors say Shelby acted unreasonably because Crutcher wasn’t armed or combative and was following commands to raise his hands.

Shelby’s attorneys say she shot Crutcher because she feared for her life, believing Crutcher was reaching into his vehicle for a gun.

Police helicopter video and a dashboard camera showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby on a north Tulsa street with his arms in the air. It doesn’t offer a clear view of when Shelby fired the single shot.

Shelby had pleaded “not guilty” to an initial first-degree manslaughter charge in September.

Image: Betty Shelby, right, is escorted from the Tulsa County Sheriff’s office into a courtroom. AP / Sue Ogrocki, File.