Terence Crutcher: If he was reaching through an open car window how can it be streaked with his blood, lawyer asks

'How can he be reaching into the car if the window is up and there is blood on the glass?'

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Wednesday 21 September 2016 15:14
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Terence Crutcher: Unarmed black man with his hands up killed by Tulsa police

A lawyer for the unarmed black man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Oklahoma has presented images challenging the account of the officer who shot him.

Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby claims she shot Terence Crutcher in self defence when she saw him reach for something through the window of his car, her attorney claims.

"He has his hands up and is facing the car and looks at Shelby, and his left hand goes through the car window, and that's when she fired her shot," Ms Shelby's attorney, Scott Wood, told The Tulsa World on Tuesday.

However, lawyers representing Mr Crutcher's family have released an enlarged photo of police footage taken after the shooting appearing to show that the window of Mr Crutcher's SUV was closed and streaked with blood after the shooting.

Attorney Benjamin Crump, center, one of the attorneys for Terence Crutcher's family, speaks about Mr Crutcher during a news conference about the shooting death of Crutcher Tuesday, 20 September, 2016 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
An enlarged photo of police footage taken after the shooting appears to show Mr Crutcher's SUV window was closed and streaked with blood after the shooting

"He is not threatening to anyone", Crutcher family lawyer Benjamin Crump said at a news conference. "How can he be reaching into the car if the window is up and there is blood on the glass?"

The shooting was captured in graphic detail by dashcam and helicopter footage released by Tulsa Police, which shows Mr Crutcher walking away from police towards his SUV with his arms held high.

One officer deployed a Taser shortly before the other, identified as Ms Shelby, fatally shot Mr Crutcher.

Officer Betty Shelby

Police were initially responding to reports of a stalled vehicle in the middle of the road. It is unclear from the footage what led Ms Shelby to draw her gun or what orders officers gave to Mr Crutcher.

Tulsa Police Sergeant Dave Walker told The Tulsa World that investigators recovered one vial of PCP from Mr Crutcher's SUV, but he declined to say where in the vehicle it was found or whether officers had determined if Mr Crutcher used it Friday evening.

An autopsy and toxicology results are pending.

The Crutcher family attorney says he committed no crime and gave officers no reason to shoot him.

Ms Shelby has been placed on paid administrative leave while the department investigates the shooting.

Protesters calling for the arrest of Officer Betty Shelby, who shot dead unarmed motorist Terence Crutcher, demonstrate outside the Tulsa Police headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 20 September, 2016
People hold signs at a 'protest for justice' over the shooting of Terence Crutcher, sponsored by We the People Oklahoma, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 20 September, 2016

Hundreds of protesters rallied outside the police headquarters in downtown Tulsa on Tuesday night calling for her to be fired.

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Ms Shelby's mother-in-law has said she is not guilty of wrongdoing, and called for sympathy from others for the pain suffered by the Shelby family.

“She wouldn’t harm anyone, we’re all sick, we feel for the [Crutcher] family,” Lois Shelby told the Associated Press. “But, you know, we have a family that goes out every day and faces life and death.

"And when she is being accused of things she didn’t do wrong, it’s too much, and they don’t think about our family.”

Additional reporting by AP

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