Legal Analyst: Crutcher's Past With Police Could Work For Both Sides

Friday, September 30th 2016, 7:59 pm
By: News On 6

Public records show an officer on the OSU-Tulsa campus pulled a rifle on Terence Crutcher and Tased him twice in 2012.

A legal analyst said both the prosecution and defense could argue this information helps their case.

Legal analyst Irven Box said prosecutors could argue that the OSU officer was able to safely take Crutcher into custody by using a Taser, not a gun, so it proves their point that Officer Betty Shelby overreacted and shooting Crutcher was manslaughter.

Special Coverage: Terence Crutcher Police Shooting

On the flip side, Box said defense attorneys could argue the previous case shows a pattern of behavior that proves their point, that Crutcher posed a danger.

The OSU-Tulsa report says officers were investigating a shots fired call when they encountered Crutcher on April 27th, 2012.

The report says the officer pointed his rifle at Crutcher, who ignored repeated commands to stop and show his hands.

The officer said Crutcher finally got on the ground, after being threatened with a Taser, but still did not show his hands.

The report says, after several warnings, the officer Tased Crutcher and, after more warnings to show his hands, Tased him a second time.

It says he then showed his hands, told paramedics he was high on PCP and was taken to a hospital.

Lori: "Explain how evidence can sometimes be a double-edged sword?"
Box: "The two-edged sword is, prosecutors can say she acted inappropriately and the officers before acted properly, but the defense can say, no, she perceived more of a threat this time."

He said that could be since Crutcher was standing by his vehicle in the current case but was on the ground in the previous one.

He said rules of evidence rarely let either side talk at trial about a person's previous contacts with police.

The analyst said he believes the toxicology report could be key for the defense in this case. However, the attorneys for Crutcher's family say, even if he was under the influence, this was a textbook example of how not to handle a situation like this.