Local Sheriff Writes Letter Defending Police Officer On Trial

Rogers County (OK) Sheriff Scott Walton wrote an open letter Thursday addressing criticism of Tulsa police Officer Betty Shelby.

Fox 23 reports that Shelby is set to go on trial soon for the 2016 shooting death of Terence Crutcher. The shooting garnered national attention and led to her being charged with first-degree manslaughter.

In the letter posted to Facebook, Walton expresses concern that the trial, reaction and criticism of Shelby will negatively impact law enforcement at large.

“Law enforcement is asked daily to make split-second decisions. However, what is being done by the leaders that quickly decided to blame Shelby can have an impact on the lives of law enforcement everywhere and may require the officer to hesitate in making a decision that has no time for hesitation. That hesitation can lead to folded flags being given to grieving families.”

Walton goes on to say Shelby ultimately decided to “stop up and live up” to her duties as a police officer rather then “left the danger to be faced by some random stranger.”

You can read the full letter here:



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  1. LegalBeagle

    Pretty hard to avoid the conclusion that the DA should be disbarred, and that command personnel fired and maybe prosecuted. There never was any basis for the prosecution.

  2. Russ

    Sheriff Scott Walton was correct; his letter is an accurate description of the reality of police work. An officer sometimes has but mere moments to make these life and death decisions, yet the community of media, lawyers and judges, politicians, and the public have months and even years to weigh each and every fraction of a second to determine what should have/could have/might have been done differently. The luxury of time is not part of police work! And it is this luxury that those outside of the job simply do not understand nor can account for when trying to ascertain the actions of an officer in these terrible situations. To them I say “You have not been there!”

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