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The Latest: Protesters briefly block a Tulsa road

May 18, 2017
Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Latest on the not guilty verdict in the manslaughter trial of a white Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man. (all times local):

12:15 a.m.

Demonstrators blocked a main road in downtown Tulsa for a short period of time after a police officer was found not guilty of manslaughter in the shooting of an unarmed black man.

Earlier, a protest had dispersed but some demonstrators gathered later a short distance away from the courthouse where the trial of officer Betty Jo Shelby had been held.

Police stood about a block away and announced through a loudspeaker that protesters should disperse or police might use a chemical agent to break up the demonstration. The road was eventually cleared and the protesters voluntarily moved to a nearby street corner.

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11:45 p.m.

Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has called for calm after a jury found a Tulsa police officer not guilty in the shooting of an unarmed black man last year.

In a statement after Betty Jo Shelby was acquitted of manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher, Fallin said: "Those who disagree with the verdict have the right to express their opinions. I just ask that they do so in a peaceful manner."

About 100 people gathered in a plaza outside the courthouse after the verdict, chanting "No Justice No Peace. No Racist Police." The demonstration was peaceful and dispersed later in the evening.

Tulsa has a long history of difficult race relations dating back to a 1921 race riot that left about 300 black residents dead.

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10:45 p.m.

The father of a black man fatally shot by Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby last year says that the officer got away with murder.

Speaking after a jury found Shelby not guilty of manslaughter, Rev. Joey Crutcher, father of Terence Crutcher, said: "Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder."

Terence Crutcher's sister, Tiffany Crutcher, says that her brother did not show any aggression toward Shelby, did not attack her and did not threaten the officer.

Tiffany Crutcher said: "Betty Shelby murdered my brother and after she murdered my brother the Tulsa police department covered up for her."

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10:15 p.m.

The lawyer for a Tulsa police officer says Betty Jo Shelby is elated that a jury has found her not guilty of manslaughter in the shooting of an unarmed black man last September.

Defense Attorney Shannon McMurray says Shelby is "elated and very proud of her jury."

McMurray says Shelby is ready to get back to her life.

Shelby testified that she shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher out of fear because she said he didn't obey commands to lie on the ground and appeared to reach inside his SUV for what she thought was a gun. Prosecutors told jurors that Shelby overreacted, arguing that Crutcher had his hands in their air and wasn't combative.

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10 p.m.

A jury has acquitted a white Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man last year.

The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for just over nine hours Wednesday.

Tulsa Officer Betty Jo Shelby says she shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher out of fear because she said he didn't obey commands to lie on the ground and appeared to reach inside his SUV for what she thought was a gun.

Prosecutors told jurors that Shelby overreacted, arguing that Crutcher had his hands in their air and wasn't combative.

The shooting was among a spate of officer-involved shootings in recent years that helped galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted calls for more police accountability.

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12:30 p.m.

Jurors are deliberating in the manslaughter trial of an Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man last year.

The jury got the case shortly after noon Wednesday. They must decide whether Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby went too far Sept. 16 when she killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher.

Shelby could spend between four years to life in prison if she's convicted.

Prosecutors said during closing arguments that Crutcher was not a threat to Shelby. They say he wasn't armed or combative when Shelby approached him on a street after his SUV broke down.

Her attorneys said Shelby shot Crutcher because she thought he was reaching into his SUV for a gun. There was no gun in the vehicle.

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12:10 a.m.

Jurors are to hear closing arguments Wednesday in the manslaughter trial of a white Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man last year.

They must decide whether Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby went too far Sept. 16 when she killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher.

Prosecutors have said Shelby overreacted because Crutcher wasn't being combative and had his hands raised high.

Shelby's attorneys have said Crutcher refused Shelby's commands to lie down during a two-minute period before police cameras recorded the shooting.

Shelby could spend between four years to life in prison if she's convicted.

Shelby testified Monday that she feared for her life and thought Crutcher was reaching inside his stalled SUV for a gun. He didn't have one on him or in the vehicle.

 
 
 

 

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