Police helicopter footage showing officers seconds before killing unarmed black man Terence Crutcher (Tulsa Police Department)

Videos show Oklahoma police shooting and killing unarmed black man Terence Crutcher

Helicopter footage shows a Tulsa officer saying Terence Crutcher "looks like a bad dude" seconds before shooting.


Ben Norton
September 20, 2016 8:30PM (UTC)

Newly released videos show a white police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma fatally shooting an unarmed black man.

Police officer Betty Shelby killed Terence Crutcher, 40, on the evening of Friday, Sept. 16.

Footage of the incident was released by the Tulsa police department on Monday.

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A police car's dashboard camera shows four police officers approaching the unarmed Crutcher, who had his hands up.


Crutcher walked toward his car and leaned against it, when he was tasered by one of the officers, Tyler Turnbough, the department said.

Video from a police helicopter shows Shelby then shooting and killing Crutcher.


Chuck Jordan, Tulsa's police chief, acknowledged in a news conference on Monday that Crutcher had been unarmed and did not have any weapons in his car, The New York Times reported.

The police department put Shelby on paid administrative leave. She has worked in the department since 2011.

Shelby came across Crutcher and his car while responding to another call. She requested backup, claiming Crutcher had not been cooperating.

Three more officers arrived to serve as backup. Crutcher was shot less than 30 seconds after they arrived.

Shelby's lawyer said she had thought Crutcher had a weapon. Her lawyer blamed Crutcher for acting strangely and refusing to comply with police orders.

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Yet, in audio accompanying the police helicopter footage, a police officer can be heard saying about Crutcher, “He’s got his hands up there for her now” and “This guy is still walking and following commands.”

The officer has been identified as Shelby’s husband, Dave Shelby.

Another officer can be heard in the helicopter video saying, "Time for a Taser." The officer said of Crutcher moments before he was gunned down, "That looks like a bad dude, too." In the video he speculated that Crutcher might "be on something."

The Tulsa police department has launched a criminal investigation into the shooting. The department said Tulsa County's district attorney, Steve Kunzweiler, will review its findings, the Times reported.

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The Department of Justice is conducting a separate civil rights investigation.

Crutcher’s family has called for a thorough investigation into the shooting.

Benjamin L. Crump, the family's lawyer, noted that Crutcher is one of many unarmed black Americans who have been killed by police.

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These frequent killings by police, with the vast majority of officers going unpunished, inspired the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement, which has staged protests throughout the country.

“This is an issue that is not unique to Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Crump said of the shooting. “This is an issue that seems to be an epidemic happening all around America. What are we as an American society going to do about it?”

Crump also pointed out that a Oklahoma police officer, Daniel Holtzclaw, was convicted in December for rape and other forms of sexual assault against 13 black women while on duty.

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Ben Norton

Ben Norton is a politics reporter and staff writer at AlterNet. You can find him on Twitter at @BenjaminNorton.

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Black Lives Matter Police Brutality Police Shootings Terence Crutcher Video

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