Family of Unarmed Man Fatally Shot by Police Demands Justice: 'It Feels Like a Nightmare'
The family of an unarmed Oklahoma man who was fatally shot by police demanded justice at a press conference Monday night.
Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old black man, was shot and killed by police Friday evening.
In a video of the shooting released by the Tulsa Police Department, Crutcher can be seen putting his hands up and walking away from police to his vehicle before being Tasered and then shot.
Crutcher was unarmed, police said in a press conference.
One officer flying in the helicopter above the scene can be heard on video saying Crutcher looks like a “bad dude.” Tiffany Crutcher, Terence’s twin sister, said “and because he was a big bad dude” he won’t get to make his family proud like he hoped to.
She said it was clear to her that Terence died because of a Tulsa Police officer's "negligence and incompetency and insensitivity."
"I just feel like I'm in a nightmare really. I just want to wake up and this all be over tomorrow,” Tiffany Crutcher said at a press conference Monday. “I lost my brother, my twin brother who was doing nothing wrong, absolutely nothing wrong and I truly believe in accountability."
Tulsa police released the video of the shooting in an effort to exercise “full transparency and disclosure,” said Officer Tuell, a spokesman for the department. Crutcher suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest, police said. According to the Crutcher family attorneys, Crutcher was having difficulty with his vehicle.
“After watching the video and seeing what actually happened, we asked for the facts, we asked for answers and we clearly got it through the video," said Tiffany.
Police officer Betty Shelby, who is white, fired the deadly shot. On the force since 2011, she has been placed on paid administrative leave while authorities investigate and determine whether charges will be filed.
The U.S. Department of Justice has also opened a probe into the shooting.
Officer Shelby’s lawyer, Scott Wood, said the officer had thought that Mr. Crutcher had a weapon. Wood said Mr. Crutcher had acted erratically, refused to comply with several orders, tried to put his hand in his pocket and reached inside his car window before he was shot, according to The New York Times.
Wood also told the Tulsa World that Shelby has completed drug-recognition expert training and believed Crutcher was acting like he was on PCP. A vial of the drug was later found in his vehicle, according to Fox 23.
The Tulsa Police Chief, Chuck Jordan, called the video “disturbing” at a news conference Monday and said the department will "do the right thing."
"It's very difficult to watch," Jordan said. "The first time I watched it I watched it with the family... we will not cover anything up."
Crutcher is one of 161 black men who have been shot and killed by police officers this year, according to a Washington Post database that has been tracking police shootings.
Crutcher's name was a top trend on Twitter Tuesday with more than 18,000 mentions, as many posted their feelings after watching the video.
As an officer I am so sick and drained of some cops doing things like this. You are making us all look bad. STOP. #TerenceCruthcher
— R_Muterspaw (@RodneyMute) September 20, 2016
There is NO JUSTIFICATION for an UNARMED AMERICAN CITIZEN to be killed by police. In the #TerrenceCrutcher case, let's see if they find one.
— CandaceTX (@CandaceTX) September 17, 2016