TULSA , Okla., Sept. 20 (UPI) — Tulsa police released a video of the fatal shooting of an unarmed African-American man by a white police officer that shows the man with his arms raised.
Police Chief Chuck Jordan confirmed Monday that the victim, Terence Crutcher, 40, was unarmed when he was Tased and then shot Friday as he walked near his stalled vehicle. He died later that evening at a local hospital.
“There was no gun on the suspect or in the suspect’s vehicle,” Jordan said, adding, “The first time I watched it [the video], I watched it with [Crutcher’s] family. We will do the right thing. We will not cover anything up.”
Police said Crutcher was not following orders in the encounter with officers. Police spokeswoman Jeanne MacKenzie said two officers were walking down the road, on their way to another call, when Crutcher approached them.
“He refused to follow commands given by the officers,” MacKenzie said. “They continued to talk to him; he continued not to listen and follow any commands. As they got closer to the vehicle, he reached inside the vehicle and at that time there was a Taser deployment, and a short time later there was one shot fired.”
In the video he is seen walking away from officers to his vehicle, with his hands up; he then drops to the ground, apparently struck by a Taser, and then is shot. The video apparently validates his family’s assertion that his hands were up when the shooting occurred.”
The U.S. Department of Justice said it would open an independent investigation into the shooting, U.S. Attorney Danny Williams said.
Tulsa police identified the officers involved as Betty Shelby, who fired the gun, and Tyler Turnbough, who deployed the Taser. Both are white. Both officers were placed on administrative leave.