Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler Thursday responded to allegations from the family of Terence Crutcher that there's corruption in the Tulsa Police Department.
Crutcher's family and its attorneys made the allegation in a news conference Thursday morning. They said it was improper for homicide detective Sergeant Dave Walker to have shown Betty Shelby the police video of the incident in which she shot and killed Terence Crutcher last September.
A jury acquitted Officer Shelby of 1st-degree manslaughter Wednesday night after nine hours of deliberations.
Late Thursday afternoon, Kunzweiler released the following statement:
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.