Tulsa Officer Acquitted In Man's Shooting Death Is Returning To The Police Force

A white Oklahoma police officer acquitted in an unarmed black man's shooting death will be back on the force next week, even as jurors who declared her not guilty of manslaughter unanimously agreed she should never return to patrol.

Tulsa police Chief Chuck Jordan issued a one-sentence statement Friday saying that Betty Jo Shelby had been reinstated. It came a day after black community leaders rallied, urging city leaders to block the 43-year-old officer from getting back her job. She had been on unpaid leave since Sept. 22, when she was charged in the death of Terence Crutcher, 40.

Some leaders were taken aback by Shelby's quick reinstatement.

“The decision today was obviously a slap in the face, and I think that's how a lot of the black community feels,” said Anthony Scott, pastor at First Baptist Church North Tulsa. “It's like pouring salt on a wound.”

>>
>Michael Slager, officer who fatally shot Walter Scott in South Carolina, pleads guilty in federal case
> Jaweed Kaleem

In a dramatic turn of events, a former South Carolina police officer who spent two years fighting charges in a high-profile shooting of an unarmed black man pleaded guilty Tuesday in his federal case.

Michael T. Slager entered his plea in federal court in Charleston, S.C., more than two years after...

In a dramatic turn of events, a former South Carolina police officer who spent two years fighting charges in a high-profile shooting of an unarmed black man pleaded guilty Tuesday in his federal case.

Michael T. Slager entered his plea in federal court in Charleston, S.C., more than two years after...

(Jaweed Kaleem)

Another member of the jury told the Frontier, a local news site, that various jurors thought Shelby could work a desk job or perhaps be another type of emergency responder — just not an officer on street patrol.

>

“I don't think she's a bad person,” he told the publication, speaking on condition of anonymity because jurors didn't want to be associated with the highly charged case. “She just shouldn't be a cop.”

The jury of eight women and four men, including three blacks, deliberated for about nine hours before reaching its verdict late Wednesday, prompting about 100 residents gathered outside the courthouse to protest the outcome.

Shelby's attorney, Shannon McMurray, acknowledged Friday that Shelby could have deployed her stun gun instead of a firearm, but said the officer had to make a “split-second” decision because she thought Crutcher was armed. No weapon was found.

“Could she have used a Taser? Yes. Might she be dead? Yes,” McMurray said. “It's a classic law school exam: All the answers are right, but which ones are the most right?”

Shelby's partner, Officer Tyler Turnbough, deployed his stun gun at the same time she fired her handgun. Turnbough told a national police aid group last month that Shelby had no way of knowing what Crutcher was reaching for and that “to take a chance could be deadly.”

A spokesman for the Crutcher family didn't return calls seeking comment on Shelby's reinstatement.

McMurray said Shelby's return to the force means “she's getting the due process she wasn't afforded when [prosecutors] jumped the gun and charged her.”

Tulsa County Dist. Atty. Steve Kunzweiler, who filed the first-degree manslaughter charge six days after the shooting, declined to comment Friday.

Crutcher was shot after Shelby approached him in a city street where his SUV had broken down.

Shelby said she fired her weapon out of fear because Crutcher ignored her commands to lie down and kept reaching into his pockets.

But prosecutors said she overreacted, arguing that Crutcher had his hands in the air and wasn't combative — part of which was confirmed by police video that showed him walking away from Shelby with his hands above his head.

> >
>90 seconds: 4 stories you can't miss
CAPTION

Many in Mexico believed structures that survived the 1985 earthquake were safe. Hurricane Maria left a historic trail of destruction across Puerto Rico. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has sought documents related to President Trump's actions while in the White House. The L.A. city attorney's office is going after two homes reportedly known for raucous parties.

Credits: Getty / KTLA / Mel Melcon

Many in Mexico believed structures that survived the 1985 earthquake were safe. Hurricane Maria left a historic trail of destruction across Puerto Rico. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has sought documents related to President Trump's actions while in the White House. The L.A. city attorney's office is going after two homes reportedly known for raucous parties.

Credits: Getty / KTLA / Mel Melcon

>
>90 seconds: 4 stories you can't miss
CAPTION

Many in Mexico believed structures that survived the 1985 earthquake were safe. Hurricane Maria left a historic trail of destruction across Puerto Rico. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has sought documents related to President Trump's actions while in the White House. The L.A. city attorney's office is going after two homes reportedly known for raucous parties.

Credits: Getty / KTLA / Mel Melcon

Many in Mexico believed structures that survived the 1985 earthquake were safe. Hurricane Maria left a historic trail of destruction across Puerto Rico. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has sought documents related to President Trump's actions while in the White House. The L.A. city attorney's office is going after two homes reportedly known for raucous parties.

Credits: Getty / KTLA / Mel Melcon

>RAW: Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico
CAPTION

Hurricane Maria left a historic trail of destruction across Puerto Rico on Wednesday, its powerful winds carving holes in the walls of 300-year-old homes, flooding neighborhoods, sucking metal roofs off buildings, downing 100-year-old trees and leaving the entire island without power.

Hurricane Maria left a historic trail of destruction across Puerto Rico on Wednesday, its powerful winds carving holes in the walls of 300-year-old homes, flooding neighborhoods, sucking metal roofs off buildings, downing 100-year-old trees and leaving the entire island without power.

>Powerful 7.1 earthquake strikes central Mexico
CAPTION

A powerful earthquake shook central Mexico on Tuesday, crumbling buildings and sending thousands of people in Mexico City fleeing into the streets screaming.

A powerful earthquake shook central Mexico on Tuesday, crumbling buildings and sending thousands of people in Mexico City fleeing into the streets screaming.

>90 seconds: 4 stories you can't miss
CAPTION

More than 100 people are dead after a devastating earthquake hit central Mexico. President Trump caused a stir in his first speech to the United Nations. A new effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is underway. Ref Rodriguez is stepping down as Los Angeles Unified school board president. 

Credits: Brian van der Brug / Getty / KTLA / Francine Orr / Allen J. Schaben / Al Seib

More than 100 people are dead after a devastating earthquake hit central Mexico. President Trump caused a stir in his first speech to the United Nations. A new effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is underway. Ref Rodriguez is stepping down as Los Angeles Unified school board president. 

Credits: Brian van der Brug / Getty / KTLA / Francine Orr / Allen J. Schaben / Al Seib

>90 seconds: 4 stories you can't miss
CAPTION

Milo Yiannopoulos set to speak at UC Berkeley, Hulu scores big with "The Handmaid's Tale," the unusual popularity of South Korea's 'Cosco kimchi,' and DACA parents tell their stories.

Milo Yiannopoulos set to speak at UC Berkeley, Hulu scores big with "The Handmaid's Tale," the unusual popularity of South Korea's 'Cosco kimchi,' and DACA parents tell their stories.

MORE NATIONAL NEWS

Exhumed priest's DNA does not match evidence from Baltimore nun's slaying scene

NAACP will oust its president and revamp to better combat 'an uncertain era' under Trump

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner pleads guilty to sexting with teen; wife files for divorce


Trending Hairstyles

Source : http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-tulsa-police-shooting-20170519-story.html

Tulsa officer acquitted in man's shooting death is returning to the police force
Former St. Louis officer acquitted in killing of black man
Protests after ex-police officer in Missouri found 'not guilty' over black man's death
Tulsa officer acquitted in shooting death of unarmed man is returning to force
Tulsa officer acquitted in man's death returning to force
Tulsa officer acquitted in man’s death returning to force
Tulsa officer acquitted in man's death returning to force