Police Officer Acquitted In Shooting Gets New Job (Photo)

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A former Oklahoma police officer acquitted for shooting an unarmed black man now has a new position as a deputy reserve officer for another police department.

Betty Shelby was serving in the Tulsa Police Department when the shooting took place on Sept. 16, 2016. She responded to a 911 call about a man who was running away from a stalled car, saying the car was about to explode, CNN reports.

Shelby later testified she did not find anyone in the vehicle upon arriving at the scene. She was then approached by 40-year-old Terence Crutcher as she returned to her police car.

Crutcher reportedly smelled of PCP and kept alternating his hands between the air and his pockets. Shelby said he didn't respond to her or her partner's demands to show them his hands, but instead put his hands on the car and reached inside.

"If a suspect reaches their hands inside of a car, don't let them pull them out," Shelby testified. "We're not trained to see what comes out of a car. We're trained to stop a threat, and by all indications, he was a threat."

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Shelby's partner shot Crutcher with a taser and she shot him with a gun, killing him. He was later found to have no weapons.

Videos of the shooting somewhat contradict Shelby's testimony. Instead of not putting his hands up, the videos show Crutcher walking backwards on the road with his hands in the air before being shot near his car.

Prosecutors claimed Shelby "reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation."  

Later, when Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray asked Shelby whether the shooting was Crutcher's fault, she replied in the affirmative.

Shelby was acquitted in May 2017 after nine hours of deliberations, CNN reports. She resigned from her position shortly after her acquittal.

Her new position is with Oklahoma's Roger's County Police Department, where she will serve as a reserve deputy. Although she will have the same responsibilities as a full-time officer, she will not get paid and will only be used when necessary.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Watson said Shelby, who has 10 years of experience, will "bring a lot to the table."

"It’s very, very evident that she wants to do her job and serve her community," Watson said. "It’s not a publicity stunt, it’s not a get even deal, it’s bringing somebody that’s passionate for law enforcement."

Crutcher's family did not agree with the Shelby's acquittal.

"Terence’s hands were up," said his twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher. "Terence was not an imminent threat. Terence did not attack her. Terence didn’t charge at her. Terence was not the aggressor."

On Sept. 16, Crutcher's family held a gala to acknowledge the anniversary of his shooting and raise money for the Terence Crutcher Foundation. The foundation provides scholarships and raise awareness of issues for people of color, especially black men, reports Tulsa World.

The gala was attended by many high-profile names in state and Tulsa city government.

Sources: CNN via KTLA, CNN, Tulsa World / Featured Image: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Crutcher Family/Tulsa PD/Tulsa County Jail via CNN, Alex Proimos/Flickr

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