Betty Shelby Trial Day 1: Jury Selection And Increased Security

Monday, May 8th 2017, 10:54 pm
By: News On 6

Day one began in the manslaughter trial of Officer Betty Shelby after the shooting and killing of Terence Crutcher in September.

Special Coverage: Terence Crutcher Police Shooting

The goal is to have a jury chosen by Tuesday, going from a pool of 70 down to 12, and start opening statements Wednesday.

Day one of jury selection came down to paperwork, as prosecutors and Shelby's attorneys asked potential jurors – ‘How much do you know about this case? Where did you hear or read about it?’ And, most importantly, ‘Can you be fair and unbiased, based on what you've heard?’

Most said they had heard about the case but would still be impartial.

To keep things as neutral as possible, the judge decided no one could wear anything potentially influential or political - which is not uncommon.

5/8/2017 Related Story: Betty Shelby Supporters, Protestors Urge Respect For Others During Trial Protests

Several members of Black Lives Matter Tulsa had to turn their shirts inside out before going into the courtroom.

Monroe Padillow with Black Lives Matter Tulsa said while he doesn't agree with the decision, he understands where it's coming from.

"Although I didn't believe our shirt necessarily sent a message that could have swayed one way or another, I could see how things could get out of hand," he said.

And in case things do get out of hand, the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said it will beef up patrols throughout the trial.

5/8/2017 Related Story: Increased Security In Place On Day One Of Betty Shelby Manslaughter Trial

"What you'll notice is an increased presence of uniformed deputies in and around the courthouse. We do have some plainclothes who are working with us," said Undersheriff George Brown.

Plus, on top of the normal security already in place, anyone wanting to watch the trial inside the courtroom must walk through a metal detector and sign in with a deputy.

"Everyone can expect to go through the security checkpoint. They're located downstairs on the first floor," Brown said.

For added security, Tulsa Police is blocking off part of 5th Street between the courthouse and Central Library with cement barricades.