Sergeant David Walker Responds To Crutcher Family's Call For Termination
TULSA, Oklahoma - The family of Terence Crutcher says Betty Shelby got away with murder; now they're calling for the mayor and chief of police to fire their lead homicide sergeant.
The Crutcher family claims Sergeant Dave Walker gave Shelby special treatment, and they want him fired. Thursday Walker responded, saying he could no longer sit back.
At a news conference, Tiffany Crutcher did not mince words.
"Chief Jordan and Mayor Bynum, I'm calling for you to right now terminate Sergeant Dave Walker. We're calling for the termination of Sergeant Dave Walker right now," she said.
She and her attorneys say, Walker, who led the investigation into the shooting of Terence Crutcher, gave Shelby special treatment.
Walker testified he had Shelby and her attorney watch the dashcam and helicopter video of the incident before doing a taped interview with her. He testified it was to refresh her memory, but the Crutcher family said he gave her an unfair advantage.
"He was exposed. He showed how he treated her differently," Tiffany said.
"That deserved a response,” Walker said. “I can no longer, and will no longer, sit back and let you kick us down the road."
The sergeant said he was following police policy by letting Shelby watch the videos first.
He testified it's not typical to let a suspect watch a video of the incident before getting their statement, but said the circumstances were different in Shelby's case.
"Preferential treatment to a murder suspect that's coming in here and denying the fact that they killed somebody? It's not the case here," Walker said.
Walker said he knows the Crutcher family is hurting but said their rhetoric doesn't help the situation.
"I agree with a lot of things the Crutcher family said. We do need to change, there has to be a change, but go do it. Don't talk about it, go do it," Walker said.
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and Chief of Police Chuck Jordan released statements distancing themselves from the Crutcher's request.
"Today my office was informed of statements made by the family of Terence Crutcher and their attorneys that were attributed to the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office. While my prayers continue to be with the Crutcher family, I feel the need to set the record straight regarding issues they raised today:
"1. I have great respect for the work of Sgt. Dave Walker. I have for many years and I still do. He has done an exemplary job for 35 years as a Tulsa police officer, and currently leads a homicide unit with one of the highest solve rates in the nation. Sgt. Walker and his team work tirelessly for our city and our community, and he is well qualified to continue in his present job. I adamantly disagree with any call for his resignation.
"2. It is absolutely false to assert that the Tulsa County District Attorney’s office believes that there is corruption within the Tulsa Police Department. Throughout the trial, no representative of my office ever called the Tulsa Police Department or any of its officers “corrupt.” No representative of my office ever implied that anyone besides the Defendant had committed any illegal act.
"3. During the recent trial of Officer Betty Shelby, all of the evidence that was proper for the jury to consider was presented in open court. The trial was covered by a number of local and national media outlets, and citizens were present in court on a daily basis to observe the proceedings.
"We prosecuted this case as we do every other case - by pointing out discrepancies in the facts, testimony and investigation. Those issues are proper for a jury to consider in any case, and have nothing to do with my opinions about the Tulsa Police Department or its officers."
Chief Jordan said:
"Chief Jordan believes that Sgt. Walker is a highly respected homicide investigator and supervisor, and he has never been accused of malfeasance or a violation of ethics. If there are specific complaints regarding a Tulsa police officer, it can be reported to Internal Affairs via the Tulsa Police website, or in person at Police Headquarters or a division. We want to hear any concerns our residents have regarding police actions. All complaints will be thoroughly investigated. Tulsans deserve the highest standards, and we will work to attain them."