Mayor: Apology To Crutcher Family Statement Of Sympathy, Not Liability

Monday, September 26th 2016, 8:51 pm
By: Emory Bryan

As teams of lawyers assemble to represent the officer and the Crutcher family, the City of Tulsa is preparing for a lawsuit.

Regardless of how the trial of Officer Betty Shelby turns out, the City will face a civil lawsuit over the shooting.

Tulsa mayor Dewey Bartlett said he always advises the legal department to reach an agreement without going to court.

At the service for Terence Crutcher Saturday night, Tulsa's Mayor formally apologized to the Crutcher family for the loss of their loved one.

Special Coverage: Terence Crutcher Police Shooting

"The sympathies of this community is with you," he said.

Monday, Bartlett said the apology was a statement of sympathy, not of liability.

The City fully expects to face a lawsuit to come out of the shooting.

Bartlett said, “Far be it from me to say where our liability begins and ends, but I do know that we'll defend ourselves very strongly and vigorously.”

But, the mayor said a vigorous defense does not mean the City will fight the family all the way to trial. In fact, he said he's always told the city legal department to settle disputes out of court, if possible, and expects them to do the same this time.

Bartlett praised the family for their dignity since the shooting and said the apology was on behalf of his family and the whole city.

"So I said I'm sorry - I'm very, very sorry - and I am, and we are, because this really devastates a family when somebody, no matter what the circumstances, when they're taken away, they're ripped away, it really hurts," Bartlett said.

Tulsa police chief, Chuck Jordan, said he's still unable to say anything about the case or the police response since the shooting.