‘We Will Achieve Justice,’ Says Tulsa Police Chief After Unarmed Black Man Killed by Police
News| | By Matthew D'Onofrio
Monday, three days after a Tulsa, OK man was shot and killed by police, footage of the incident was released and the police chief spoke.
The footage, described as “very disturbing and difficult to watch” by Tulsa’s Police Chief Chuck Jordan at Monday night’s news conference, shows 40-year-old Terence Crutcher had his hands up before being shot and Jordan assured justice will be served.
On the night of September 16, dispatchers received a 911 call from a woman regarding an abandoned vehicle blocking the road which apparently was going to “blow up.” The woman added that a guy was running from the vehicle.
Crutcher, a father of four, was that man and the vehicle was his SUV which had stalled and broke down in the middle of the road.
What came next is not law enforcement aiding a citizen with unfortunate car trouble, but rather taking an innocent life.
Officer Betty Shelby was responding to a domestic violence call when first arriving at the scene where she found Crutcher on the side of the road, away from his vehicle. Shelby was “not having cooperation” from Crutcher, as she told the dispatcher, according to Jordan at the news conference last night and no more information was added in regards to the magnitude of cooperation, or perhaps lack of, that Shelby allegedly faced when confronting Crutcher.
Following this, footage shows an officer saying, “I’ve got a suspect who won’t show me his hands,” yet Crutcher’s hands appear to be up in the air and then confirmed via radio from officers in the helicopter above watching, saying, “He’s got his hands up there for her now.”
Crutcher, labeled as “a big bad dude” who “might be on something” by the officers flying above, then walks with his hands up to his car, followed by police, when audio from the helicopter comments, “I think he may have just been tasered.”
It is reported that he was shot with a stun gun by Officer Tyler Turnbough.
Crutcher then falls to the ground, and an officer shouts, “Shots fired!”
Crutcher, a Tulsa Community College student, frequent church-goer, the “big bad dude” then lied on the ground for over a minute as police remained on guard, pointing their weapons down at him bleeding out from his single gun wound.
Crutcher died at the hospital later on.
“There was no gun on the suspect or in the suspect’s vehicle,” confirmed Police Chief Jordan at the news conference.
Law enforcement as well as the Justice Department are investigating the situation.
“I want to assure our community and people across the nation, we will achieve justice,” he added.
Tiffany Crutcher, twin sister of Crutcher, said her brother was not a bad person and was committed to making his family proud by earning his degree. She noted her brother died because of “negligence and incompetency and insensitivity” and demanded justice be served and that others demand these situations stop.
“You wanna know who that ‘big bad dude’ was?” said Tiffany Crutcher at the news conference. “That big bad dude was my twin brother…A father…A son.”
Tulsa Police Public Information Officer Jeanne MacKenzie told CNN that the responding officers in the street thought Crutcher had reached his hands into the driver’s side window of the vehicle, suspected of having a gun in the car.
Officers Shelby and Turnbough are currently on paid leave.