Tulsa Fraternal Order Of Police Files Grievance Against Steve Kunzweiler
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police said the Tulsa County district attorney acted unfairly and unethically by charging Betty Shelby when he did.
The complaint will go to the Oklahoma Bar Association.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler called the timing of the complaint interesting - that’s because Shelby’s trial begins Monday.
FOP Chair Jerad Lindsey said, "Whether they're a citizen, whether they're a police officer, whether they're a convicted felon. Whether they're a habitual offender, we do not want them to be charged before all the reports and evidence are in."
Lindsey filed an ethics complaint against Kunzweiler with the Oklahoma Bar Association, saying it was wrong of him to charge Shelby over the death of Terence Crutcher last September before Tulsa Police finished the criminal investigation.
Lindsey said, "There was a lot of political and public pressure. I don't think anyone that lives in Tulsa and was here and present around that time would deny that."
The FOP said it's not trying to influence the trial, but Kunzweiler begs to differ.
"Unfortunately, it's just a distraction on this case and I'm not happy about that," he said.
Kunzweiler said he had plenty of evidence to charge Shelby with manslaughter when he did - six days after the shooting.
In that time, Kunzweiler said he visited the scene and spoke to witnesses, the medical examiner and Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker, who led the criminal investigation.
"I have to do what I think the people employed me to do. I'm going to honor my oath and my ethics. If somebody wants to make a complaint against me, they're certainly entitled to do that," the DA said.
No word on when the Oklahoma Bar Association will come back with a decision or if it will take any action at all.
Kunzweiler said he'll have to hire a lawyer.