Betty Shelby Speaks Out On Shooting Death Of Terence Crutcher
TULSA, Oklahoma - For the first time, Tulsa Police officer Betty Shelby spoke about the shooting death of Terence Crutcher last fall.
Officer Betty Shelby is on unpaid leave and her trial for manslaughter is set to begin next month. In the interview, she says race did not play a factor in her decision to shoot Terence Crutcher last September, she says she made her decisions based only on his actions.
She says before other officers arrived and the video begins, Crutcher put his hands in his pockets more than once, refused to answer her questions about why his running vehicle was blocking traffic, refused to stop moving or get on the ground.
She says she believed he was going to his vehicle to get a weapon.
"If I wait to find out if he had a gun or not, I could very well be dead," Shelby said.
Police did not find a weapon in Crutcher's vehicle or on him.
She says she has sorrow this happened and that Crutcher lost his life, but, feels like he left her no choice.
"I never wanted to be in that spot. His actions dictated my actions. I never wanted to kill anybody," Shelby said.
Officer Shelby says she's not trained to shoot people in the leg but to shoot at the center of the body, to stop the threat. She says she perceived Crutcher was a threat, because she says he reached inside his window.
"If he would've complied, if he would've communicated with me, done as I asked him to do, we would not be here," Shelby said.
If you want to watch the entire '60 Minutes' piece along with interviews from Crutcher's twin sister, Shelby's husband and the former mayor,
If Shelby is convicted of manslaughter, the minimum prison sentence she could receive is four years and the maximum sentence is life.