Tulsa Mayor Asks For Patience In Terence Crutcher Shooting Investigation

Tuesday, September 20th 2016, 9:21 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett called on Tulsans to stay calm and wait for justice after the release of police video showing the officer-involved shooting death of Terence Crutcher. Crutcher, 40, was shot and killed September 16, 2016, after police stopped by his SUV which was stalled in the middle of 36th Street North near Lewis.

Police released video of several angles of the shooting, but not the dash cam from Officer Betty Shelby's cruiser. She is the officer who shot Crutcher.

Before our interview with Mayor Bartlett, he told us that's because it doesn't exist.

The initial call was that Terence Crutcher's SUV was stalled in the road, so Bartlett said when she pulled up, Officer Shelby activated the rear emergency lights for traffic control. But he said the front emergency lights that automatically turn on the dash cam were not turned on.

The shooting is making worldwide headlines, and the mayor said the city's reaction is a coordinated, planned effort.

9/19/2016 Related Story: Tulsa Police Release Video Of Terence Crutcher Shooting Death

Mayor Bartlett told us that he and Police Chief Chuck Jordan talked about what the city's response should be to an officer shooting like what happened Friday. He told us a transparent, quick, complete response is a priority.

"It was something that we talked about over the years, that if something of this magnitude were to happen, being transparent, giving out information as quickly and as complete as possible," he said. "That was our desire and our decision.

"We don't want to be perceived as trying to cover something up," Mayor Bartlett said. "That's the exact opposite of our desire."

He says it's very important for the public to know the city isn't covering up anything.

Bartlett said he spent time with Terence's twin sister, Dr. Tiffany Crutcher. He knows their father from playing music together at the Jazz Hall of Fame.

"It was a very, very difficult situation, especially when the family saw the video tapes," he said.

The U.S. Department of Justice is launching an official investigation into the deadly Tulsa officer-involved shooting.  Chief Jordan called for a complete investigation.

9/19/2016 Related Story: US Attorney, City Leaders: Crutcher Shooting Will Be Properly, Thoroughly Investigated

"We will achieve justice in this case; it will be presented to the right people," he said. "We asked the justice department in on this immediately, and the district attorney's office, Northern District of Oklahoma," Jordan said at a news conference Monday.

Chief Jordan also says he wants to assure the community that the investigation will achieve justice. The victim's family, the ACLU and We the People Oklahoma are calling for criminal charges against Officer Betty Shelby.

Bartlett and Jordan were two of five officials who were a part of a news conference yesterday, where almost every speaker asked Tulsans to wait for justice to be served.

The mayor said he sees no reason for Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler to recuse himself in the case, as has been requested by the community action group "We the People Oklahoma."

"I know him, and he is nothing but total integrity," Bartlett said. "The system of justice will work through its process. A result will be given, and it will be done in a transparent way that the people will know the system has worked well."

Terence Crutcher's family also called a news conference Monday. 

9/19/2016 Related Story: Terence Crutcher Family Demands Tulsa Officer Be Charged In Death