Shelby Trial: Not Guilty

Shelby Trial:  Not Guilty

After deliberating for almost nine hours, the jury in the manslaughter case of Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby has returned a not guilty verdict.

Over 100 protesters have gathered in and around the Tulsa County Courthouse.  The Tulsa Police Department and the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department are monitoring the area.

The Tulsa County District Attorney announced in opening statements that the case was about “skin color.”  Several lies told by activists and lawyers were exposed in the eight day trial.

Other Tulsa Police officers on the scene told jurors that in a similar situation they would have also used deadly force.  The lead homicide investigator, Sergeant Dave Walker, said he was “angry” and “disrespected” by the District Attorney when he did not wait for the investigation to be completed before filing charges.  Sergeant Dave Walker testified for the defense that he would not have recommended criminal charges in the case.

That led to accusations from the District Attorney that the Tulsa Police Department was “covering up” and “protecting” Officer Shelby.

We will bring you additional details as they are released.

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53 Comments

  1. seewill

    If she was in such an immediate danger, why did no other police officer fire their weapons? There were plenty around both of them.

    • LegalBeagle

      It is an individual decision, driven in part by perceptions that may be different for different officers. They might not have seen what she saw due to the angles or distance from which they were watching. She may have had more experience with person impaired by drugs such as PCP, and thus his behavior had different meaning to her than to other officers. (I went back and looked at some of the coverage, and she is referred to as a DRE, which would justify her higher level of concern.)

      The jury’s letter was an unfortunate reminder of the horrible job that LE and other stakeholders are doing in educating the public and judiciary as to the realities of recognizing and controlling threats; the speed at which incidents occur, and that lethal force in a situation such as this must be preemptive – that is, it must be used before the suspect is able to effectively attack an officer. And yes, I am carefully referring to lethal force – there is nothing about this situation that would indicate to anyone with a clue that a Taser was an appropriate response. They rarely are, and far too often, less than lethal equipment, training, and policies are driven by the fraudulent claim that there is something wrong about using lethal force, or that cops kill too many people. The Taser, beanbags, and such stuff should be used at low levels of resistance, not an event where a person is armed or appears to be arming themselves. If anything else is happening, they need to be taken away so that officers are not sacrificing themselves to the whims of the criminally feral and their supporters.

      • seewill

        Sorry, I disagree with you. Cops do kill to many people and they are disproportionately people of color.

        • LegalBeagle

          You have the right to disagree, but no qualifications at all to conduct the analysis underlying that assertion. American LE kills at most 5% of the people on whom they could justifiably use lethal force as a result of their violent assaultive conduct toward LE and other citizens. In other words, American LE could (and by implication SHOULD, be killing 20 times as many violent criminals per year.) The data is clear and overwhelming.

          As for your race based assertion, while there is a facial disproportionality when does a simplistic analysis, a more reasoned analysis that reflects socio-economic status, criminal history, and other contributors, I am not aware of any measurable difference in the use of lethal force. Minorities are disproportionality represented in violent criminality for a lot of reasons (almost all social and not possible for LE to impact). They are also disproportionately represented as victims, and the discourse on the issue is AFU when society concentrates more on the impacts of nasty violent criminals than on their victims, some of our most vulnerable citizens. Having worked in both areas in which there are significant minority populations and NOT significant minority populations, I have seen first hand that the least important aspect of the issue is racial identity. Bad guys, regardless of color, are of largely the same nature and display the same behaviors.

          A personal gripe is that white folks are disproportionately represented in white collar crime, the financial impact of which is staggering, and yet the prosecutions and penalties are not near as harsh as they should be. Former AG Holder was a symbol of that problem. While he is most known and reviled for acting as an apologist for the criminally feral, mostly of color, he took every step he could to ensure that the people of his background (he was not a criminal law practitioner, but mostly a banking lawyer) got away with as much as they could. He was a disgrace, and anyone who does not consider him to be such is at best ignorant.

          • seewill

            You really do think a lot of yourself.

          • LegalBeagle

            You may or may not be correct on that, but that does not make me wrong or unqualified, and it does not address the fact that are both wrong and unqualified. The abuse of Officer Shelby from the time of the shooting forward, the unethical filing of criminal charges, the abuse after she was reinstated – all are shameful. The DA should lose his law license, and I would be willing to bet that senior personnel in the TPD should have been fired and probably charged for what they did to her.

  2. Garett B.

    BTW..the jury was 9 Whites and 3 Blacks. So there goes the ethnic card.

  3. Garett B.

    Spoke to an expert witness on the case last week. This whole problem started the following day, when former POTUS phoned the Ofcr’s Chief and ask “What are you going to do about this?” This caused a rush to falsely arrest the Ofcr and proceed with a bogus case.

    • LegalBeagle

      Former POTUS, like most lawyers (including the DA here) does not know anything abut use of force law. And while I am concerned that in this case, as so often happens, Officer Shelby was not even arguably given proper support due to command ignorance, cowardice, and incompetence, I am pretty sure that the charging decision came from the DA (who has virtually unfettered discretion) and Officer Shelby turned herself in – the PD did not pursue any charging.

  4. Chris Cunningham

    So glad justice was served.

  5. ahaz

    Not surprised at all and the killing of US citizens will continue unabated by officers that lack the ability to be police officers.

    • Mike B

      Hey ahaz, if you listen to the police they will not have to shoot you. If you feel you do not have to listen the police will use force to protect their lives and the lives of law abiding citizens. All he had to do was put his hands up and move away from the SUV. Great verdict and a great day for America.

      • ahaz

        I see the comply or die mentality is alive and well. Any danger that officer stated she was in was one of pure imagination. Its sad that too many juries allow fear to be the justification for a citizen to lose his/her life at the hands of police. We have the problem where over 1300 citizens yearly are killed by police, many unarmed, many mentally ill. We have another situation where police send over 50K citizens a year to hospitals every year. With numbers like that…who is safe from whom?

        • Mike B

          This is a teachable moment for YOU ahaz. Comply with the Police and you will have no reason to FEAR them. Be safe, don’t break the law.

          • ahaz

            If you even remote;y support this shoot, then you live in a fantasy world where authoritarianism runs rampant. In no other westernized nation would this shoot be deemed acceptable.

          • Candido Campos Garcia

            Yes, in fact in most other countries it takes a lot less.

          • ahaz

            I can practically guarantee she would have been convicted in any Euro or Canadian court

          • ahaz

            And we have plenty to fear from police. predatory policing, revenue generation, assault and death at the hands of a scared cop. How many more Tamir Rices, John Boyds, Sandra Blands must we have before the public quits the maniacal hero worship of cops and start holding the bad ones accountable?

          • Katrina

            Tamir was aiming that gun at passing people acting like a gangbanger. Sandra Bland hung herself because her friends and family didn’t come immediately with bond money. Both sad, but police can’t be blamed for the actions of the public. An “unarmed” mentally ill man holding a pole is NOT unarmed. Good Grief. Just because someone is mentally ill or unarmed does not mean they are not a threat.
            There are hundreds of thousands of police encounters that go smoothly. It all hinges on the ACTIONS of the subject. Police behavior is REACTIONARY. Read those last two sentences until you comprehend.

          • ahaz

            Tamir Rice was playing in a park and the keystone cops that shot him WERE DIRECTLY responsible for his death. And Sandra Bland was arrested and thrown into jail no other reason to talking back to an officer. Typical of police cup holders to blame the victim.

          • LegalBeagle

            You are insane. She did not merely talk back – she went out of her way to disobey a lawful command not to smoke.

          • ahaz

            And that was lawful how?

          • LegalBeagle

            The law is clear, and has been this way for several decades. “The risk of harm to both the police and the occupants is minimized if the officers routinely exercise unquestioned command of the situation.” Michigan v. Summers, 452 U.S. 692, 702-703 (1981). This is true in any non-consensual encounter. Brendlin v. California, 551 U.S. 249, 258 (2007)(citations omitted). (A vehicle stop is analytically a “Terry” stop under the 4th amendment analysis, and thus the officer is in charge.) And then she disobeyed the lawful order to get out of the car. (Pa. v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 106 (1977)).

            No way in hell is anyone going to be allowed to smoke by an officer who is paying attention. A lit cigarette is a distraction – it keeps the officer from smelling odors around the car, a tactic used by impaired drivers (remember she was driving poorly, probably because she was not familiar with the area, and odor is one way we eliminate indicia of impairment as a reason for poor driving) and persons with odiferous contraband; it changes the manner and extent of watching the hands because it can be used as a physical (pain) distractor as part of an assault. When she refused to put out the cigarette, she displayed a level of non-compliance consistent with a higher level of potential resistance. For me, that’s get ’em out and take the cigarette and give them a lecture, but once she refused to get out, that option was gone. (I used to lecture people if I figured out that they were ignorant, not malicious, because they needed to be educated more than arrested – but that was a discretionary choice and sometimes people eliminated that option by their ill-advised actions.)

            While the language of the relevant statutes will vary from state to state, this is going be some form of obstructing and/or resisting. Where I live and work, it is obstructing and then the failure to comply with the arrest process is a different crime, but in CA for example, it is all one statute. Whatever the form and language, I am not aware of any state that does not have such a statutory scheme.

          • Mike B

            I was mistaken ahaz, this is not a teachable moment. You are too closed minded with your anti-police bias and hatered to comprehend what happened. I hope someday you will realize how backward your thinking is. As always the police will be there to protect you. Best regards.

          • LegalBeagle

            The Tamir Rice debacle resulted from a darned fool citizen calling the cops when he actually thought it was not a real gun. In that case, while the kid’s actions were ignorant, the caller created a good bit of the problem. Once Tamir started to draw, the time to talk was over. Truly unfortunate, but not improper – the city’s decision to pay was malpractice, not merely epic stupidity.

            Ms. Bland went out of her way to disobey the lawful orders of the officer, for no reason I can even begin to grasp. In a nonconsensual encounter, the officer is in charge – SCOTUS has made this clear. Only an idiot officer would let her smoke. His agency is staffed at the top with microcephalic invertebrate geldings who exemplify a lack of integrity and honor.

          • ahaz

            No the caller didn’t. Relate the problem in fact he told the dispatcher that it was probably just a kid playing around. The murderers’ and I mean to say it, utilized poor tactics, drove up next to a 12 year old child and shot him within 2 seconds. Naturally, the prosecutor, who is no longer in office, chose to act as an personal defense attorney for the cops instead of seeking justice for the 12 year old boy just murdered for no reason than playing in a park.

          • LegalBeagle

            The information given to the officers as to Tamir’s location was flawed, as I recall, which is why they drove right up on him – they came in the wrong gate due to the bad info. You are correct that distance was a better option – it would have been far superior to address and command from 50+ yards away with a rifle.

            However, Tamir, probably because he was an uninformed kid, took action consistent with drawing, and once that happened, the situation became what it became. 2 seconds is a long time in that situation. The decision period is roughly .25 seconds. The distance you correctly advocate would have bought time.

            The citizen erred in calling the cops, because if he thought it was a toy, stupidity, not criminality, was happening, and that is not a police matter. The dispatcher correctly did not report that the caller thought it was a toy, because that causes complacent responses. I was involved in a situation with a kid (technically a young adult, 19, IIRC, but I’m old) who was examining his new Airsoft replica in a store parking lot and some crybaby called. I was the first to see him as I was close; we stopped him with a significant display of force and HE DID EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS TOLD. That right there is the variable that really mattered – he did not do anything that looked like a pre-assaultive cue, and was safely detained. The replica was of a Walther P99, and darned realistic. Not until I was within about 3 feet could I tell it was a replica. Had he done anything dumb, he would have been shot. Instead, he got a scare and an education about the scaring the sheeple.

        • Katrina

          The public! The public is safe from those who choose to break laws and create chaos. It is the police who stand for us and protect us, that is who.
          “Any danger that officer stated she was in was one of pure imagination.” A statement like that without having been there is based on pure Ignorance. There were 12 people on that jury who heard ALL of the facts and disagree with you. And they disagreed with the DA who was foolish enough to bring charges before the investigation was complete costing taxpayers money spent unnecessarily.
          Also, you might be interested to know that it isn’t only the police, but legally armed members of the public who stop many a criminal sending them to hospitals or their grave. They, too, are REACTING to the threat of the suspect’s ACTION.

          • ahaz

            Was the man killed for holding a water hose sitting on his porch breaking the law? Was John Crawford breaking the law when he was killed upon sight at Walmart? Was the man shot and lost half his brain breaking the law when he simply had his hand wrapped in a towel? Was the grandfather paralyzed by police because he could not speak English breaking the law? Was the 15 year old student shot and killed for driving away from a party breaking the law? Was the unarmed mentally ill man killed by police a danger when he wouldn’t let go of a pole he was holding on to? Need I go on?

          • LegalBeagle

            IIRC, Mr. Crawford was the guy who had an Airsoft replica and had taken it out of the package in the store (why on earth he did that in a setting so uncontrolled is beyond me), and some crybaby called the cops about him maybe having a real gun. I have seen, but do not know if it was validated, that there is at least some indication that the caller was an anti-gun zealot, and some of that mindset have advocated calling the cops every time they see someone with a firearm, whether it is unlawful or not. There were also indications that Mr. Crawford did not follow commands and created the impression of using the “firearm” on the officers, but I do not recall the facts that have been determined well enough to be sure. The time lines are short by necessity – if he was in fact moving in a manner consistent wth being assaultive, there must be as little delay as possible – .25 seconds or less is the time period in question.

            Not knowing what MH with a pole is the incident to which you are referring, I can’t tell, but while I have talked a few into voluntary compliance, if they look and act like a violent criminal, their mental status is not relevant. Just tragic. A pole sounds la lot like a quarterstaff, maybe – which would be a deadly weapon at 30 or more feet due to movement, the low incapacitation resulting from handgun rounds, and the time involved.

        • Law Officer

          “Many” unarmed. 1300? You may want to check your facts.

          • ahaz

            The number killed by police varies depending upon the site. WAPO reports 963, The Guardian reports 1092, and Killed by Police report 1156 in 2016. Guardian reports 169 unarmed citizens killed. WAPO report 241 killed exhibiting signs of mental illness. 158 Killed having an edged weapon. Compare these number to any Euro nation and it’s plain to see where the problem lies.

          • LegalBeagle

            Yeah – people trying to kill cops in a country where we have a sound understanding of the priority of life. Suspects who act like violent criminals are always the lowest. And if you think a knife is not a potentially lethal weapon, you are even more ignorant that you make yourself look by your ravings.

            “Unarmed” is not “un-dangerous”, and if one creates an impression of being dangerous, they must be treated that way. MH patients are a particular annoyance to me – in no location in this country are there sound, humane, appropriate options for the mentally ill. The old facilities were medieval, and utterly shameful, but instead of addressing that, elected officials chose to just shut them, dropping onto the streets a goodly number of people who are not capable of functioning. Who gets to deal with them? Cops, corrections officers, public defenders, prosecutors, and judges, none of whom are the right group, and the vast majority of whom know that the system is AFU and scream even louder than the advocates, but with the same success in spite of being far better qualified to opine on how stupid this is.

          • PawneeBill47

            Yeah, the problem lies in heads like yours. Why are you on this page cop hater?

          • ahaz

            As I have said before, by no means do I hate cops. However, I see there’s are systematic problems within the institution that needs addressing. Police violence and use use of deadly force among them. All you snowflakes out there that can’t handle criticism can go back to your safe place and feel secure.

          • LegalBeagle

            There are systemic problems with how civilians act toward the police, and by which they create much of this. Most of them are younger males, of lower socio-economic status, regardless of pigment. I regularly have heard and seen completely stupid comments made by people who have no idea what the law is, and if they act consistent with what they say – they will get a rough lesson. That domestic terrorist Lavoy Finicum was no better than the violent criminal Michael Brown, and the same stupid stuff was said (claims of hands up and surrender, which were knowingly false in both cases).

          • Joe Eshleman

            He is right perhaps a bit high, but much higher than the FBI was reporting. it is over one thousand a year. In most western nations it is under five or ten. Iceland has had only one killing in its history

          • LegalBeagle

            Which is not relevant at all. The rate of violent crime here in the US is in part because there is far more liberty here, instead of the totalitarian repression so common in Europe (like England).

        • Candido Campos Garcia

          Ahaz sounds like you have had a couple of run ins with the law. I tell you what, go to your local police department and ask to get put through the scene simulator and see how many people you end up shooting by accident due to your fear. It’s easy to talk the talk, but can you walk the walk. I’ve been LEO for 26 years, and thank God I have never had to shoot anyone, and I hope that in the few years I have left I never do, but if it comes down to it I will do everything within my power to go home to my family.

        • Ross RoscoRulez Pool

          You are 1000 times more likely to be killed by a black man with a gun than being shot by a cop. Black males are responsible for 75% of all violent crimes and murders in America, yet they are a minority in this country with less than 30% of this countries population. Do the math, cops ARE the least of this countries problems, black males between 16 and 35 and illegal aliens are the driving factor in all crime in America!

          • LegalBeagle

            And the vast majority of the people who are victimized by criminals are of the same background (pigment, neighborhood, disadvantaged setting, etc., yet NO ONE seems to GAF about them). That’s upside down.

            Have cops been wrong? Yes. I have seen some, and there is a published case out of the First Circuit (MA) that makes no sense at all in terms of the conduct, defending the officer civilly, not firing him, and more likely than not, the failure to prosecute. However, the actual rate of error (things were not what what they appeared), let alone honest to goodness misconduct, is low. None of those episodes of misconduct are good, of course, but I’d be willing to bet that the #s are lower than the attorney misconduct shown by filing against officers in cases such as this.

          • ahaz

            And any American is 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist according to the CATO institute.

        • LegalBeagle

          That’s the problem? The real problem is that there is no willingness to have violent criminals quit acting like violent criminals and actually take responsibility for their actions.

          Also, it is not “comply or die”, but as a matter of law, it is comply or get forced – offenders have no choice. If their perceived level of resistance presents what a reasonable officer would consider a threat of great bodily harm (which by necessary implication includes death), the law is clear that they can use preemptive lethal force to prevent that potential injury. Whether a person is truly violent, or creates that impression for whatever reason, the correct answer is lethal force. Cops kill MAYBE 5% of the people who assault them with potentially lethal force, and as a side issue, the overwhelming majority of suspects who got to the hospital are there for what are shown to be minimal injuries as a preventive action before the are booked.

          You are without doubt entitled to your opinion, and to express it, but you are not even close to qualified – you have no idea at all about the extent of your ignorance.

        • Sir

          There is an estimated 323.95 million people in the U.S. (2016). 1300 of those killed by law enforcement equates to around 0.000401296496% and 50,000 injured equates to around 0.0154344806% of the total population, respectively. Those numbers and odds are impressive, regardless of your slanted views of police.
          So, who is safe?
          It would seem greater than 99% of the U.S. population. There’s your answer ahaz.

          • Joe Eshleman

            Compare that with the two killed by police in England with its population of 62 million. That is .00000322580645%. IF you divide that by the percent killed in this country (.0000032258645/.000401296496) you get .00803846154). Given.English, you are 125 times as likely to be killed by a cop in the United States as in England. Now the numbers I gave are the real deal. Sir, always make sure you put your numbers in a context before you make an assumption. WE have a problem in this country with police shootings unless we, as a nation, are in total denail

          • LegalBeagle

            No, the English have a problem with the lack of them, because they consider their cops’ well-being to be on a par with that of violent offenders, which is utterly insane. American LE should be shooting many times more violent offenders each year if one looks at the data about the violent assaults on cops.

          • Sir

            The ‘problem’ is obvious; a lack of respect for the law and a desire to not be held accountable for those laws, and THAT is not the attitude of American LE, but the criminals in America today.

            As far as the numbers are concerned, completely acceptable by ANY standard Mr. Eshleman, regardless. Remove the ‘criminal element’ from the equation of those shot and the numbers show a completely different story.

            Understanding the role of LE and understanding the various case law that guides and directs those members of LE is something that most people simply do not understand, nor can they comprehend. While the politicians and pundits point towards police officers as the problem, and non-LE believe it, there will always be a perceived ‘problem’ with police performing their duty. I encourage anyone and everyone to become more acquainted with our justice system.

            Good day,

            Sir.

          • Garett B.

            No we don’t. We have a real problem of predator/suspects who murder others. More Blacks die at the hand of other Blacks, not cops.

        • PawneeBill47

          Well, that pretty much makes our case. Why would you NOT comply? You KNOW who the person wearing the badge is, they do NOT know you or your motives. You’re a special kind of stupid but in my career and after retirement I have heard so many cops say “they want no laws, GIVE IT TO THEM!!” Whiners like you would not survive one day without protection by police. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f4d1809add235ce78a10a3aa24a9f248bbc43823674cca4eaee7f401ecfd9fa1.jpg

          • Garett B.

            Lesson….PCP is bad for your health.

    • John1098

      A jury determined she was not guilty after being presented with all the facts, not just the ones the prosecutor and press wanted you to know about.

    • Candido Campos Garcia

      Ahaz why don’t you take the test to be an officer and then you can do better, until then sit down and shut up ?

  6. Duane Wolfe

    Thanks for covering this story and uncovering the truth regarding the actions of the prosecutor.

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