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Feds Say Insufficient Evidence Exists in Fatal Shooting

Police Officer Not To Face Rights Charges

TULSA—The Tulsa police officer involved in the 2016 shooting death of a Black man will not face federal civil rights violations charges, The Black Chronicle has learned.

The Department of Justice said it did not find sufficient evidence to prosecute Officer Betty Shelby for civil rights violations in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher.

Officer Shelby, who has since the incident left the Tulsa Police Department, is white

The police officer, 45, faced a first-degree manslaughter count in Tulsa County District Court over her on-duty shooting of Mr. Crutcher, 40, in north Tulsa on Sept. 16, 2016.

A jury acquitted her of the charge in May 2017.

A judge granted Officer Shelby’s request later in 2017 to seal the case record.

In a press conference late Friday afternoon, Mr. Crutcher’s twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher, called the Department of Justice’s decision “very disappointing.”

“I made a vow the night of the verdict that I would not rest until I tore down this system of corruption and until I reformed the police department, not just locally but around this country,” she said.

“For close to 900 days, we’ve been fighting for justice and the fight for justice continues.”

Mayor G.T. Bynum had no comment on the justice department decision.

A federal lawsuit filed by Mr. Crutcher’s family names Officer Shelby, the Tulsa police chief and the city of Tulsa as defendants, as well as other officers on the scene when the shooting occurred.

An attorney for Officer Shelby said he and his client are “very, very pleased with the outcome” of the Department of Justice investigation.

Officer Shelby resigned from the Tulsa Police Department in 2017 and has since worked as a Rogers County sheriff’s deputy.

The U.S. attorney for Tulsa said the team of agents assigned to review the shooting evaluated materials and evidence from Tulsa police, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office.

The team also read transcripts from Officer Shelby’s trial and looked at enhanced video footage of the Crutcher shooting.

But said that evidence was not ..To read more, subscribe to the blackchronicle newspaper