Tulsa police have released a disturbing dash cam recording showing a police officer fatally shoot and kill an unarmed Black man, who had his hands up in the air.
On Friday night, Terence Crutcher was on his way home when his car stalled. Witnesses called 911, and when police arrived, Crutcher was tased by Officer Tyler Turnbough and shot once by Officer Betty Shelby, according to the New York Daily News. Crutcher, 40, had no weapon on him.
While a female officer told dispatch that Crutcher wouldn’t “show me his hands,” according to the footage, he was walking back toward his car with his hands raised in the air. Crutcher even placed his hands on the side of his SUV, but not too long after, four officers surrounded him.
According to the Daily News, one officer said, “He’s got his hands up there for her now.” Another said, “Time for a Taser, I think.” Then, the first officer said, “I’ve got a feeling that’s about to happen,” while another one said, “That looks like a bad dude, too. Probably on something.”
Soon after, the father of four was tasered and then shot, BBC News wrote. Officers then left Crutcher lying on the ground for nearly two minutes before checking his pulse and administering first aid, according to The Root.
Crutcher was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
In a press conference on Monday afternoon, Police Chief Chuck Jordan told the crowd, “I’m going to tell you right now, there was no gun on the suspect or in the suspect’s vehicle. I want to assure our community and I want to assure all of you and people across the nation watching this: We will achieve justice.
“The video is disturbing. It’s very difficult to watch. The first time I watched it, I watched it with the family,” he added.
Police also confirmed they showed the Crutcher family the video before it was released to the public.
“We wanted them to see it before it was released so they wouldn’t be blindsided by it,” Tulsa police Sgt. Shane Tuell said. “We wanted to be able to have that intimate time with them, with their attorney, to see if they had any questions or concerns.”
Since the shooting, Crutcher’s family has maintained that Terence didn’t have a weapon and his hands were up the entire time. His twin sister, Tiffany, told the press she knows the released video will spark protests, but asks that they are peaceful. “Let’s protest, let’s do what we have to do, but let’s do it peacefully, so we respect the culture of our family,” she said.
During a press conference, she also stressed that Officer Shelby should be arrested, saying her brother’s life “mattered” and it was lost due to “negligence and the incompetency and insensitivity” on the part of the police.
On Monday, federal prosecutors said the FBI and the Department of Justice will conduct separate investigations into Friday’s shooting, and Jordan has asked the Justice Department to help with the investigation, the Daily News noted.
Meanwhile, Officer Shelby, has been placed on “routine administrative leave with pay” during the investigation.
As we all know, deaths like Crutcher’s are not new or rare. Since 2015, almost 400 African-American men have been killed by police or state violence. When will it end? When will our names stop being hashtags?