Helicopter Footage Shows Tulsa Police Killing Unarmed Man
Video footage of Tulsa police shooting an unarmed black man on Friday was released on Monday, showing an unarmed black male walking up to his car with his hands raised in front of a police officer, then dropping his hands before getting shot and killed.
Tulsa’s chief of police has since asked the Justice Department to investigate the incident.
Footage from a police helicopter shows Terence Crutcher, 40, walking up to his vehicle with a police officer behind him. Authorities said that the car was reported abandoned on the road at 7:36 pm and was left running in the middle of it. According to his family, the SUV broke down.
In the video, Crutcher was walking to his vehicle with his hands raised and then put them on the SUV, as other police officers arrived on the scene. He then dropped his hands as he got closer to the driver’s side door. Crutcher then can be seen dropping to the ground with his white T-shirt saturated with blood. Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed Crutcher who according to authorities, was not armed.
According to the woman who reported the abandoned vehicle, “the guy was running from [the vehicle]” after telling her it was going to “blow up.” According to police, Crutcher was on the side of the road and then approached Shelby when she arrived.
A man can be heard in the helicopter saying “That looks like a bad dude too. He might be on something,” as Crutcher approaches the vehicle.
Tulsa Police public information officer, Jeanne MacKenzie told CNN that officers thought Crutcher reached his hands into the window of the car.
“I think he may have just been Tasered,” an officer can be heard over the radio. “Shots fired” a female officer can be heard saying one moment later.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said that Shelby told a dispatcher “that she’s not having cooperation from” Crutcher.
Jordan said that Shelby fired one shot into Crutcher while Officer Tyler Turnbough used a taser.
“I want to assure our community and I want to assure all of you and people across the nation who are going to be looking at this: we will achieve justice,” Jordan told reporters.
They treated him like a criminal,” lawyer, Benjamin Crump said in a news conference. “They treated him like a suspect. They did not treat him like somebody in distress who needed help. Instead of giving him a hand, they gave him bullets.”
Crutcher’s twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher and her family wants charges pressed against Shelby because upon reviewing the footage they saw no justification for the shooting of Terence Crutcher.
Tiffany Crutcher criticized the officer who also said that Crutcher looked like a “big bad dude” because he was a father who loved God and was enrolled at Tulsa Community College.
“That big bad dude — his life mattered,” she said at the news conference on Monday.
She added that he died because of a police officer’s “negligence and incompetency and insensitivity.”
Early Monday morning, more than a dozen protesters showed up to the Tulsa Couthouse with signs that read, “Black Lives Matter” and “Am I Next.” They also chanted “hands up, don’t shoot.”