Attorney: Officer Involved In Crutcher Shooting 'Followed Police Protocol'

Tuesday, September 20th 2016, 8:02 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa police say officers searched Crutcher's SUV after the shooting and found a vial of liquid PCP, a wallet and some Tulsa Community College textbooks.

The attorney for Officer Betty Shelby said she is a Drug Recognition Expert and believed Terence Crutcher was under the influence of something, possibly PCP, the night she encountered him.

Special Coverage: Terrence Crutcher Police Shooting

The attorney for the family says they don't know if Crutcher was or was not, but said that doesn't change the fact that he was unarmed when he was shot and killed.

The attorney for the Crutcher family said even if you assume Crutcher was under the influence that night, there is a certain way to deal with people who might not be in full control of their mental abilities and emotions. He says this was not it.

"This is a textbook case of how not to treat someone in that condition," Crutcher family attorney David Riggs said.

The officer's attorney said people who are mentally ill or under the influence can be unpredictable, and the best thing to do is hold them until help arrives.

He said Shelby tried to do that by calling for backup and repeatedly telling Crutcher to get on his knees, but he said Crutcher did not comply.

Shelby says Crutcher repeatedly put his hands toward his pocket, so she feared he could have a gun, which is why she pulled her gun.

"She followed police protocol in this encounter, and I can't emphasize that enough," said Shelby’s attorney, Scott Wood.

The Justice Department is conducting a separate investigation into Crutcher’s death, with the help of the FBI.