Tulsa Police Release Video of the Killing of Unarmed Black Man, Terence Crutcher; Twitter Reacts
Yesterday (Sept. 19), police released the video of another unarmed black man, Terence Crutcher who was shot and killed by police on Friday (Sept. 16), this time in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Crutcher, 40, was killed Friday after police came across his car stalled. In the video, Crutcher can clearly be seen holding his hands above his head before a white officer shot him. At a news conference on Monday, Tulsa’s police chief, Chuck Jordan, said that Crutcher was unarmed and did not have a weapon in his vehicle. In the video captured fro a helicopter, one officer can be heard referring to Crutcher as a "big bad dude." In a news conference, Tiffany Crutcher, Terrence's twin sister, told reporters their family wants justice because “that big ‘bad dude’ — his life mattered.”
“His life mattered,” she repeated. “And the chain breaks here. We’re going to stop it right here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is bigger than us right here. We’re going to stop it right here.”
The New York Times reports that the department opened a criminal investigation into the shooting and said the Tulsa County district attorney, Steve Kunzweiler, would review its findings. The federal justice department has also opened a separate investigation.
The fatal encounter took place on Friday evening, after police received calls of an abandoned vehicle. Video recorded by a police helicopter and a patrol car’s dashboard camera shows Crutcher raising his hands, walking toward a car and leaning against it. He was then Tasered by one officer, Tyler Turnbough, and fatally shot by Officer Betty Shelby, who had been with the police since 2011. She is currently on paid administrative leave.
Members of Crutcher's family have called for a thorough investigation. Meanwhile, their attorney, Benjamin L. Crump, reminded everyone of Tulsa's history—namely Daniel Holtzclaw, who was convicted last year of sexually assaulting 13 black women while on duty.
“This is an issue that is not unique to Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Crump said. “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?”
Since the video was released, #TerenceCrutcher has become a trending topic, with many people tying his death into Colin Kaepernick's continued protest against the National Anthem, saying that this is a clear cut example of why his actions are so relevant.
See Tiffany Crutcher's comments at a news conference below.
Read reactions on Twitter.