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Clinton, Trump decry latest police shootings of black men

23 September 2016
Clinton, Trump decry latest police shootings of black men

The Tulsa Police Department on Monday released a dashcam video of Crutcher, whose family says he was having auto trouble when police found him at his SUV in the middle of a highway, being swarmed by law enforcement officers moments before he was shot dead.

Shelby's attorney alleges that Crutcher was uncooperative up to the point when the officer opened fire. Shelby's attorney, Scott Wood, maintains that Crutcher refused to follow more than two dozen commands and that he reached into the open window of the auto before Shelby perceived a threat and shot him. But an attorney for his family, Melvin Hall, said those details were not known by police at the scene.

Shelby was put on paid administrative leave while local and federal officials investigate the shooting.

Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Monday that Crutcher did not have a gun on him or in his SUV.

The shooting of Terence Crutcher, 40, by Tulsa Officer Betty Shelby after his sport utility vehicle broke down on Friday, was the latest in a series of fatal shootings that have raised questions of racial bias in US policing. Wood said Shelby recalled Crutcher mumbling incoherently when she asked him if the SUV belonged to him.

Crutcher ultimately pleaded no contest to charges of carrying a weapon and resisting an officer and received suspended sentences. "It really can't. The inner cities cannot get much worse", he said.

Video of the altercation, which Trump cited, shows two officers approach Crutcher. She looked into the passenger's side to make sure no one was on the floor of the vehicle, and as she was getting ready to move to the driver's side, she turned around and saw Crutcher walking toward her, Wood said.

No dashcam footage exists from Shelby's auto because she didn't activate her emergency lights - which in turn switches on the camera - when she came upon the abandoned vehicle in the roadway. He said Crutcher reached toward his pockets or into them several times against Shelby's orders not to do so. "Let's deal with his auto".

Marq Lewis of We the People said he believes Jordan is trying to be as transparent as possible but can not say much due to the ongoing investigation.

He said Crutcher's head was tilted but his eyes were on Shelby.

Clinton, meanwhile, has aimed to make a more proactive case for her election and not get drawn into daily skirmishes with Trump. She said he was soft-spoken but well-known throughout the neighborhood. He said she radioed dispatch to report that she was with someone who wasn't complying with her demands. "You can kind of hear a degree of stress in her voice when she says that", Wood said. The officer who fired the fatal shots said she believed Crutcher, who was unarmed, was behaving strangely and reaching for a gun, the officer's attorney said.

Describing the actions Shelby took at that point, Wood said the officer approached the vehicle and saw that the windows were open, and that the doors were closed - and that no one was in the auto. His hands were still in the air.

Two different views - one from a police helicopter and the other from officer Tyler Turnbough's dashboard camera - provide the most illuminating footage. Crutcher, an unarmed 40-year old Black man, was shot with his hands up, according to video. That's when Shelby fired one shot and a fellow officer, Tyler Turnbough, deployed a Taser, Wood said.

Police said that a vial of PCP was found in Crutcher's SUV, the AP reported. "I'm sending condolences and prayers to the families, and I know a lot of you are, too", Clinton said.