Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby Returns To Work

Betty Shelby, who was acquitted of killing of Terrence Crutcher, will be allowed to return to work Monday, according to Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan.

“Pursuant to the jury verdict of acquittal in the criminal case of Officer Betty Shelby, she is being returned to duty,” the Tulsa Police Department said in a statement provided to Fox News. “She will not be assigned in a patrol capacity.”

Shelby was put on unpaid leave after being charged with manslaughter for the September 2016 shooting of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher.

After deliberating for more than nine hours on Wednesday, the jury found Shelby not guilty, sparking outrage from Crutcher’s family and supporters. Protesters briefly blocked a street outside the courthouse when the verdict was announced, shouting “No justice, no peace” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

An autopsy found Crutcher had PCP and TCP, drugs that can trigger hallucinations, in his system when he died.

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  1. CarolinaCries

    She should be given her back pay for the time she wasn’t allowed to make a living. I hope that’s the case. And as far as her not patrolling, it’s probably for her safety. People now just can’t accept the truth from a jury and will try to execute their own form of justice.

  2. Samuel Fivey

    If there is any good news in this, it is that the department brought her back to work. A large check for back pay, etc should have already been issued.
    Sadly, it is all too common that an agency will do something like this and then claim “we’re supporting the officer, we brought them back to work.”
    If keeping Officer Shelby inside is because of the loud voices from an ignorant, illiterate few who refused to acknowledge the facts and the law then shame on the chief and any administrators who support this decision.
    However, if she – herself – has chosen to stay inside, then she has my support for the path she decided to take.

    • CarolinaCries

      And you KNOW this how? Were you on the jury? The evidence clearly showed she was justified in shooting a non compliant man reaching into his vehicle. So how do you know they wanted to convict?????

    • Samuel Fivey

      Ahaz, that is NOT what the jury said in the letter they released. I tried to do a copy and paste, but my software doesn’t support that so I will have to type in their paragraph on the subject. From pg 5 of 5 of their letter:
      On the Matter of Betty Shelby’s Future
      As stated herein, the Jury under the confines of the law found Betty Shelby Not Guilty, yet we question her judgment as a law enforcement officer. It is possible that she acted exactly as her training would dictate and no option was available otherwise, but to people not training in law enforcement, it seems that an option might have been there. We encourage the Chief of Police and the administrators at the Tulsa Police Department to take a detailed and earnest review of all points of her encounter with Mr. Crutcher. If she had any opportunity or flexibility of judgment to subdue the suspect with a less lethal force in the moments before the events culminated tragically, then her ability and judgment as an officer under pressure has to be called into question, and serious consideration given to whether she be allowed to return to practicing law enforcement.

      From reading that, they do not appear to have been educated on a number of the issues relating to use of force. This includes disparity of force issues involving size & strength, dangers of non-compliance, and the failure rates of various less lethal tools.

      • Law Officer

        AHAZ is pointing to a “suspect” article citing an anonymous source. The letter that you referred to was actually given to the judge from the jury and a much more honest depiction of their beliefs which included a 12-0 “not-guilty” verdict.

      • LegalBeagle

        “It is possible that she acted exactly as her training would dictate and no option was available otherwise, but to people not training in law enforcement, it seems that an option might have been there.”

        This is a very serious problem. What I and others have found in looking at media reporting is that the ignorance is staggering. LE is simply doing an AWFUL job of communicating with the public about the law, the research based tactics, and the very real threat someone acting just like Mr. Crutcher can present. This is compounded by regular, maybe even constant dishonesty from the plaintiff’s bar, incompetent or otherwise unethical (a lack of professional competence is itself an ethical violation) prosecutors, and the inability of most people to differentiate between the ugliness of a valid use of force and its appropriateness.

        As to less than lethal, I have seen far too many cases in which such tools were deployed when not appropriate. I don’t know if that is a training issue, or an effort to avoid using lethal force when it is appropriate because of the abuse from the media and the lack of support from command staff. My recollection of the statements from the TPD Chief is such that he should have been on the wrong end of a no confidence vote the within a day or two of the shooting. He is not a leader, but a liability.

    • Katrina

      I read the link you posted, although it was one of the most biased articles I have read on the subject. Is that why you chose it? Even with that, it is hard to see where you come up with your statement. The juror stated: “all agreed it didn’t meet the criteria to convict under first-degree manslaughter”.
      Did you also read the actual letter that the jury wrote to include in the case file? It addresses the media, but it could apply to anyone, even you. The writer cautioned against editing or using snippets to serve the angle from which they personally view the story. It is really well written and thought out. It would serve you well to enlighten yourself, or not, as you choose.

    • Mike Peterson

      And you know this how?

  3. LegalBeagle

    And why not in a patrol capacity? If not her choice, that is unjustified punishment and should result in firing of those responsible for that decision.

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