Video Captures Tulsa Police Shooting of Unarmed Black Man Seen Walking with Hands Up
The video footage shows an officer following Crutcher slowly from behind with a gun trained on him
Helicopter footage released Monday showed police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, allegedly shooting and killing an unarmed African-American man on Friday night after he walked toward his SUV with his arms raised.
Terence Crutcher, 40, can be seen walking slowly toward his car, which authorities alleged had been left abandoned and running in the middle of the road, according to NBC News.
The video footage shows an officer following Crutcher slowly from behind with a gun pointed at him.
In the video, Crutcher approaches the driver’s side door before dropping to the ground after being shocked with a stun gun. He was fatally shot moments after.
At a news conference Monday, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Officer Tyler Turnbough tasered Crutcher, while a second officer, Betty Shelby, fired at him after telling a dispatcher that Crutcher was not cooperating.
Jordan said Crutcher had no weapon on him or in his SUV.
Jordan called the footage “disturbing” and has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the case. The Tulsa Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into the shooting, the The New York Times reports. And the federal Justice Department has opened a separate civil rights investigation into the shooting, according to the paper.
“I will make this promise to you, we will achieve justice,” Jordan said.
According to the Associated Press, Crutcher’s twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher, called for charges Monday.
“The big bad dude was my twin brother. That big bad dude was a father,” she said.
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“That big bad dude was a son. That big bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College, just wanting to make us proud. That big bad dude loved God. That big bad dude was at church singing with all of his flaws, every week. That big bad dude, that’s who he was.”
About a dozen protesters gathered outside a Tulsa courthouse early Monday with signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Am I Next.”
Shelby is on paid administrative leave, the Times reports. A police spokesman told The Times the officer gave a statement to homicide detectives Monday morning.
Shelby’s lawyer, Scott Wood, told the Times that the officer thought Crutcher had a weapon. The lawyer added that Crutcher allegedly refused to comply with orders.
Jordan said at the news conference that Shelby came across Crutcher while on her way to another call. She requested back up, alleging that the man was not cooperating, he said.
In the newly released footage, an officer aboard a helicopter above can be heard saying, “He’s got his hands up there for her now. This guy is still walking and following commands.”
Benjamin L. Crump, a lawyer for Crutcher’s family, likened the fatal shooting to the police shootings of unarmed African-Americans in recent years.
“This is an issue that is not unique to Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Crump told the Times. “This is an issue that seems to be an epidemic happening all around America. What are we an an America society going to do about it?”