Officer Betty Shelby has been charged with manslaughter following the wildly controversial shooting of the unarmed and cooperative Terence Crutcher. As we've seen in the past few years, instances in which police are handed any kind of punishment following the deaths by law enforcement of black men are exceedingly rare, making this instance particularly remarkable.
According to CNN, Shelby shot Crutcher following a stop at a roadway last week. Much of the incident was caught on video.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler explained the situation: "We reviewed the facts of the allegations. It is our responsibility to determine if the filing of a criminal charge is justified under the law," Kurnzweiler said.
Specifically, the criminal complaint stated that Shelby's "fear resulted in her unreasonable actions which led her to shooting" Crutcher. She is accused of "unlawfully and unnecessarily" shooting Crutcher after he did not comply with her "lawful orders." Video evidence seems to tell another story.
CNN has also reported that Crutcher's family said they were "happy charges have been brought" against the officer and they will be seeking a "vigorous prosecution" of this case that results in a conviction.
"This is a small victory," said Terence's twin Tiffany Crutcher.
"The chain breaks here. We're going to break the chains of police brutality," she added. "We know the history."
Shelby faces anywhere between four years and a lifetime in jail for her crime. It is unclear how it was decided that she would be accused of manslaughter and not murder.
[Photo: Screenshot via YouTube]