In yet another blow to the family of Terence Crutcher, the officer who killed the innocent man will be allowed to remain in her field and will be paid back-pay for the period she was suspended.
Last week when Officer Betty Shelby was acquitted of charges related to the slaying of black man Terence Crutcher, many reacted with disappointment, but not surprise. Shelby’s ‘not guilty’ charge represents a long, established precedent of violent, unstable police officers facing little to no consequences for their actions.
Unfortunately, the betrayal experienced by Crutcher’s family and all others invested in this case was magnified by the decision to retain Shelby on the force and compensate her for the time she was suspended due to criminal investigation.
“Shelby has been on leave without pay since being charged. According to the City of Tulsa, she will receive backpay in the amount of $35,480.32.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said last week that Shelby would return to duty Monday after being on unpaid leave since the shooting occurred. Jordan said she will not be working in a patrol capacity, but it’s not clear what she’ll be doing for the department.”
The fact that Shelby could be judged as competent enough to remain on the force after the argument she made is preposterous. Among a litany of other flimsy excuses, Shelby claimed that she became temporarily deaf during the conflict, leading her to act excessively.
Shelby also appeared to repeatedly lie about the sequence of events, including arguing that Crutcher was reaching for a gun despite no evidence to confirm such an assertion.
For much of her criminal trial, Shelby’s attorneys argued that her panic and fear at the time of the conflict was the explanation for why she acted so aggressively toward Crutcher. If her fragility is the reason she is innocent, it should also be the reason for why she is not at all qualified to hold a gun and patrol the streets.
Shelby has proven that she cannot be trusted to uphold the law and protect citizens – why is she being given another chance?