Funeral held for black man killed by police in Oklahoma
Hundreds of mourners have held a funeral ceremony in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for unarmed African American man who was fatally shot by a white female police officer.
Terence Crutcher, 40, was remembered at the Antioch Baptist Church on Saturday as a father of four with a good heart.
The funeral service came one day after Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby who shot Crutcher on a roadway, was booked on a first degree manslaughter charge.
Shelby, 42, is free on bond and faces four years to life in prison if convicted.
Earlier on Saturday, dozens of people gathered at the Tulsa courthouse plaza for a rally organized by activist groups like Black Lives Matter Oklahoma, the ACLU of Oklahoma and the NAACP.
“We’re not going to stop until we have full justice, say it, full justice,” Demario Solomon-Simmons, an attorney for the Crutcher family and his former friend, told funeral attendees, who responded by echoing his words “full justice.”
Crutcher’s death on September 16 and the fatal shooting of a black man 4 days later by a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, are two of the latest police-involved shootings to fuel anger over police brutality against African Americans.
Police said Crutcher was unarmed and there was no weapon in his vehicle.
On Monday, Tulsa police released two videos, one from a dashboard camera in a patrol car and one from a helicopter, which show Crutcher holding his hands in the air shortly before he was fatally shot next to his vehicle.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Shelby told investigators that Crutcher failed to comply with her instructions and she feared for her life.
On Thursday, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler charged Shelby with first-degree manslaughter.
Shelby “reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation from a confrontation with Mr. Crutcher, who was not responding to verbal commands and was walking away from her with his hands held up, becoming emotionally involved to the point that she over reacted,” Kunzweiler said in court documents.
The swift action in Tulsa against the officer stood in contrast to Charlotte, where violent protests entered their fifth day on Sunday over the police killing of another black man on September 20.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets on Saturday night, holding rallies which stretched into Sunday morning.
On Saturday, Charlotte police released dash and body camera footage of the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott.