After the defense rested in the manslaughter trial of Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby, who is on trial for the September 2016 death of Terence Crutcher, his family held an impromptu press conference on the courthouse steps on Tuesday, expressing their displeasure at how the trial went.
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According to KJRH, Crutcher’s family and supporters felt that the defense and police union disparaged Crutcher’s name, when it is he who is the aggrieved (that is, dead) party.
“As opposed to Betty Shelby being on trial, it appears that Terence Crutcher is on trial,” said Pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church Dr. Rodney Goss.
To rectify that, the family presented court documents from 2005 that say Shelby’s ex-husband claimed she physically abused their children, prompting him to seek custody.
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Specifically, the report claims that Shelby choked and kicked her 10-year-old daughter and forced her to sleep in dog urine.
Local reporter Jonathan McCall presented some of the documents on Twitter.
“Her daughter said her mother had choked her and kicked her,” said Pastor of My Church Walk of Faith Marcus Howard. “We’re trying to portray her as being an angel, and an angel she is not.”
The domestic case against Shelby was eventually dismissed. Unsurprisingly, her peers in the local police union defended her.
“I don’t see how that would go to her mindset during a shooting years later,” said Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police Chairman Jerad Lindsey. “I’m sure Mr. Crutcher has many more things in his past there were not coming up because they’re not pertinent to what’s going on in this trial.”
However, the family felt that the FOP also released disparaging information on Crutcher over the weekend.
Some of the videos were about the affects of PCP and the difference between the “action and reaction” of officers.
Crutcher was known to have battled substance abuse and had PCP in his system when he was killed.
“Terence is not on trial. It is his life that we are here to protect and to make sure that justice is served,” Pastor Howard said.
The jury in the trial was instructed to come back to court Wednesday morning for closing arguments and to decide a verdict.