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Jury acquits Tulsa police officer in fatal shooting of unarmed black man

By Mike Bambach
Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby was acquitted of manslaughter Wednesday in the shooting death of Terence Carter last year. Photo courtesy Tulsa Police Department/EPA
Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby was acquitted of manslaughter Wednesday in the shooting death of Terence Carter last year. Photo courtesy Tulsa Police Department/EPA

May 18 (UPI) -- The Tulsa police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man last year was found not guilty of first-degree manslaughter late Wednesday.

A jury acquitted officer Betty Shelby in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher during an encounter that began with the report of a stalled vehicle.

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Crutcher's family called the verdict a disappointment and the police department "corrupt."

"Terence was not the aggressor," Tiffany Crutcher, Terence Crutcher's twin sister, said. "Betty Shelby was the aggressor."

A lawyer for Shelby, 43, said she believed Crutcher was under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. The former deputy for the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office had completed drug-recognition expert training.

A toxicology report revealed Crutcher, 40, was on two hallucinogenic drugs, including PCP.

In Novermber, a judge ordered Shelby to stand trial after deciding there was enough evidence for her to do so.

Shelby testified Monday that she fired her weapon because "I feared for my life."

"I did everything I could to stop this," she added. "Crutcher's death is his fault."

Following Shelby's acquittal, protesters gathered outside the Tulsa County Courthouse holding signs and shouting, "No justice, no peace, no racist police."

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Shelby was seen running from the courthouse after the verdict.

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