Tulsa FOP Posts Video Highlighting Officers' Decision-Making Process

Thursday, May 11th 2017, 9:48 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa Fraternal Order police shared a video outlining why officers have to anticipate a threat before they see it.

The post says, “It's easy to judge Officer Betty Jo Shelby after the fact, but what would you have done in that moment when you feared for your life?”

In some cases, life or death can be boiled down to a matter of tenths of a second; a reality many officers face when responding to a domestic violence call, irate suspect or even a traffic stop.

"Most bullets are faster than the speed of sound," said FOP Chairperson Jerad Lindsey. “It happens in the blink of an eye.”

Lindsey said it's important for people to understand that.

The video the FOP shared wasn’t produced by them, but they’re using it to illustrate just how fast things can change.

In one section, a man is standing with his gun aimed, a tone goes off representing a shot and it takes the person with a gun just under a second to react.

Lindsey said that's too late.

"These things are very fluid and quickly evolving situations,” he said. “They are very hard to deal with, and that's why it's very important not to second guess our officers."

The next section of video shows a suspect walking to a car - it bears a slight resemblance to the circumstances that played out in the Terence Crutcher case.

Crutcher didn't have a gun, however, in the video, the suspect walks to the car, reaches in the window, grabs a gun, and in .3 seconds, he shoots.

Lindsey said, "Someone who waits until a person has decided to shoot them and is producing a weapon, you're already behind the curve."

He said officers are trained to perform decision making process when in possible danger. It's called the OODA Loop - observe, orient, decide and act.

The FOP chair said they want to be clear that although they support Shelby, they express condolences for the Crutcher family.