Jury Acquits Tulsa Police Officer in Fatal Shooting of Black Man

The decision is now in the hands of the jury

The decision is now in the hands of the jury

A United States police officer who said she shot an unarmed black man "out of fear" while his hands were raised above his head has been cleared of manslaughter.

Jurors deliberated for nine hours after closing arguments. "Don't shoot!" after the verdict was handed down, the Tulsa World reported.

During the trial, prosecutors argued Shelby overreacted. They left the courthouse without commenting.

A Tulsa jury convicted the then-74-year-old Bates of second-degree manslaughter and he was sentenced to four years in prison.

Crutcher alternated between putting his hands in his pocket and putting them in the air, she said.

Shelby took the stand in her own defense in the weeklong trial, testifying that her training led her to shoot Crutcher because she believed that he was reaching for a weapon through a partially open window in his vehicle. Her attorneys called other police officers who had previous run-ins with Crutcher where he was allegedly "noncompliant" and "defiant", resulting in a stun gun being used on one occasion.

Shelby fatally shot Crutcher, who had PCP in his system at the time of his death, after she came across his auto parked along the side of the highway. They also questioned why Shelby used a gun rather than a Taser. Police found a vial of PCP in the SUV's door, but no weapons were found.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler charged Ms Shelby six days after the shooting.

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Police videos of the incident were seen globally, and some civil rights advocates have argued that race was a factor. The statements outraged Crutcher's family, who said they indicated a racial bias. "There was precise evidence that said she was guilty".

"I'm feeling that his intent is to do me harm and I keep thinking, "Don't do this".

Crutcher's twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher, announced that the verdict had been reached just after 9 p.m. She said she had forgotten that detail at the time. Terence's hands were in the air. "Betty Shelby was following him with his hands up".

Selby's defense attorney Steve Kunzweiler said the police officer shot the victim Terence Crutcher because she thought he was going to his vehicle in order to get a gun out of it.

Shelby testified that she believed Crutcher was reaching into his auto to retrieve something - possibly a weapon."We're not trained to see what comes out of a vehicle", Shelby said.

"They walked by my brother to go check on Betty and the last few breaths of my brother's life, he laid there alone", she said.

The status of that investigation isn't clear; Williams was among the dozens of USA attorneys who were asked by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign in March.

The rest of the family expressed their disappointment in the verdict even going as far as to call the police "corrupt".

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