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A district court judge has called out the Tulsa police officer who allegedly killed Terence Crutcher for doing an interview about the case on national TV.
According to the New York Daily News, Judge Doug Drummond had some harsh words for officer Betty Jo Shelby, who is accused of shooting an unarmed Terence to death. He shared his thoughts in a five-page reprimand that aimed to point out how her recent appearance on 60 Minutes could make it hard to conduct a fair trial.
“It is obvious this case has drawn significant media interest nationwide since the beginning,” Judge Drummond wrote. “The court is, at a minimum, hopeful that all parties … recognize that pretrial publicity potentially hampers prospects for a fair and impartial trial for both sides.”
Taking her statements during the 60 Minutes interview into consideration, Judge Drummond had reason for concern.
Betty Jo, who was seen gunning Terence down as he walked away from her with his in the air, attempted to frame herself as a victim the situation. To make matters worse, she used a problematic analogy, static, “My situation was no different than—I don’t know whether I should say this—than a lynch mob coming after me.”
During the interview, Betty Jo also explained why she was more inclined to shoot Terence.
“If I wait to find out if he had a gun or not, I could very well be dead,” she said before sharing another line of logic within her police department. “There’s something that we always say: “I’d rather be tried by 12 than carried by six.”
Although she claims to believe that Terence intended to hurt her (again, despite the police helicopter video of him walking away), prosecutors argue that she overreacted because he was unarmed and complied with orders to put his hands up.