Betty Jo Shelby (Courtesy of the Tulsa County Sheriffs Department).

The police officer who was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed Black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is reportedly returning to work today, May 22, 2017, just five days after the jury returned with the decision in her favor.

Officer Betty Jo Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher, 40, when she encountered him next to his stalled vehicle on a city street on September 16, 2016. She said she was in fear of her life when she discharged her firearm. Crutcher can be seen in video footage walking away from the officers with his hands in the air before he is shot in the chest.

She felt Crutcher was reaching into his SUV for a gun — though no weapon was found in his vehicle. Prosecutors later argued unsuccessfully that Shelby used an unreasonable amount of force against Crutcher.

Shelby’s defense attorney, Shannon McMurray, said her client will be going back to work at the Tulsa Police Department – but she will be barred from street patrol until the internal affairs investigation is completed.

Tulsa police Chief Chuck Jordan issued a one-sentence statement Friday announcing Shelby’s reinstatement, the Los Angeles Times reported. During a rally the previous day, Black community leaders urged the city government to bar Shelby, 43, from getting her job back. Some leaders were shocked by Shelby’s quick reinstatement.

“The decision today was obviously a slap in the face, and I think that’s how a lot of the Black community feels,” Anthony Scott, pastor at First Baptist Church North Tulsa, told the Times. “It’s like pouring salt on a wound.”

Shelby is among several other officers who were permitted to return to work after being accused of excessive force. The officers involved in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray have returned to work. Same goes for Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who held Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold in 2014. To add, Pantaleo got more than just his job back; he has been paid six figures in overtime while working modified desk duty.

Terry Shropshire

I'm a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.

  • Oak510finest

    I hope she gets hit by bus.

  • Sheilah Stover

    she’ll do it again hopefully she wont get away with it. if you are afraid go be a house wife, man walking away wit his arms in the arm- big as his legs were she could not aim for those?

  • Janice Hunter

    GOD will take care of her!!!!!!!

    • Oak510finest

      Well he/she needs to hurry up! We do about a million plus one favors.

    • disqus_C1Qel2NYjr

      When are you going to get tired of relying on your master’s god? Get out of that slave mentality. Belief in god/jesus/whatthefuckever is the white man’s greatest power over blacks. Free your mind or forever be an ignorant negro.

      • SrAgri

        Traditional African religions focus on magic, dead ancestors, and spirits. Would that be a more intelligent option?

        • Oak510finest

          @sragri:disqus Yes, it would… My ebony man meat stalker! That same traditional or African religion (Vodun or Voodoo) was what helped the Haitian’s (Haitian Revolution) successfully bury those murderous European men, women and children who tried to murder and enslave them.

          That is why white supremacist and keyboard klansmen such as yourself, try to vilify Voodoo. Because you parasites, know that it absolutely works!

          Now be a good boy…Like you have been told and continue to post your white klansmen rhetoric and stalk black news site. Always begging for a pat on the head or some attention from us. Such a needy rascal you are!! lmao! Or better yet, if you continue to do as your told. We can give you one of those well deserved meaty treats you like so much.

        • La-Chanda Sexclibra Smith

          Or we could just do what they do to us.

    • SrAgri

      We can only hope so. There will be plenty of people out to get her for just doing her job. I hope she is safe and gets the support she needs from her department.

  • justwantedtocomment

    Very slanted piece here.

    His vehicle was not ‘stalled’. He had put it in park in the middle of the road (straddling the center line), jumped out, and ran from it yelling that it was about to blow up. Officer Shelby drove by it when she was on her way to be backup for a domestic disturbance.

    As she was driving by she saw Cutcher also in the road. He began to walk toward her with his hands in his pockets. He intermittently put his hands in and out of his pockets as she yelled at him to keep them out. He did put them in the air for a moment, only to drop one and put it in his pocket again, and then shortly after drop the other one and do the same with it. At the time he walked to his vehicle and put his hands through the window, his hands were in his pants pockets and he was ignoring her commands to stop and make his hands visible.

    To read this piece you would think he was a man whose car broke down on the side of the road, who stepped out of it hoping she was there to help him, that she told him to put his hands up for no good reason and he complied, and she shot him anyway.

    He was high on PCP and disobeyed her lawful commands repeatedly.

    You can’t just do that. Black, white, brown, purple… if you’re giving law enforcement reason to suspect you of something and then ignore the police, you are very much to blame for what happens. There were thousands of other people on the streets of Tulsa that day who were not doing what he was doing. They did not get shot.

    Is it obviously sad and tragic? Yes. But did she do anything wrong? Those who heard the facts – three of them Black Tulsa citizens – said no. They did question whether she could have used lesser force (a taser) but also said that based on her training, she did something that was within the scope of acceptability based on T.C.’s behavior. They seemed to believe that if using a taser was within that same scope of acceptability that that’s what they’d have preferred to have seen her use, but they also said they were not law enforcement agents and therefore were not educated about whether a taser would’ve been in keeping with what she had been trained to do.

    • Oak510finest

      Oops, my bad! I forgot to add your name. No worries, see below.

      Let’s see how long before @justlwantedtocomment, @SrAgri, @Had Enough, @alwaysright and the other racist white supremacist trolls. Either find a way to blame the victim, or minimize this cold blooded murder. By making up some mythical non-existence scenario about blacks killing whites. That conveniently, no one but them, somehow knows about.

      In addition, one has to keep the streak alive of always blaming the victim right?? No way possible these race soldiers..sorry, I mean cops are ever at fault, right? It’s simply not possible. Now, I know to normal people, who are both rational and logical this defies probability.

      But hey, what do you expect other than. What I say happened is what happened.To hell, with any facts or logic.” I am white and I say so”. ????

      • justwantedtocomment

        So off-base.

        What’s going to turn the tide is when everyone on both sides of the issue can begin to look at every single police shooting on its own merits and not through the lens of race.

        Some shootings by police are over-reactions. I think very few are the result of outright hatred of another race. Some are, though.

        In this case, the police officer was someone who had very recently been recognized for her positive work in a predominantly A-A area. She has no history of racist behavior or remarks.

        Crutcher – like most people – had family and friends who loved him, and that love turned to despair because of his death. That’s understandable. But looking at the situation objectively and asking if he put himself in jeopardy is important when determining whether the officer was at fault for an unnecessary death, or if she was simply doing her job in the face of what seemed like a threat.

        People are quick to point out – regarding his past brushes with the law – that she didn’t know about his past so that can’t be held against him. The same is true for a *positive* past. She knew *nothing* except that he was disregarding her lawful commands and reached into his vehicle when she told him not to.

        Think about this in another way…

        Assume Crutcher was white and actually did have a gun in his SUV, and when he reached in through the window, he grabbed it and pivoted and shot and killed an innocent black child standing on the sidewalk.

        Would it be said that if Shelby had stopped the imminent threat – according to her training – as soon as he put his hands in the window that the child would not have died? Would she be accused of being racist because she didn’t stop a white man who was disobeying her instructions and the result was the death of a Black child?

        Forget color completely for a minute and ask if his BEHAVIOR represented a threat according to her police training.

        Sometimes my children did knucklehead things at school. Some teachers have a bad attitude and really are out to exert their power whether they are being fair or not. But that’s not true of all teachers. Just because my kid had to stay after school didn’t mean the teacher was definitely on a power trip. Maybe it did, but maybe my kid brought it on himself. It’s important that I know which is true before blaming any teacher so I’ll be taken seriously. If I want the truly bad teachers to be taken out of their roles, I want to be sure I’m not lumping every teacher into the ‘truly bad’ pot just because I’m mad. Maybe my anger needs to be directed at my kid for breaking the rules.

        In this case, I think Crutcher brought it on himself. I think he was impaired because of the PCP so he probably had no clue what was going on, and that’s unfortunate. Really unfortunate. But it’s just a sad reality that he was doing exactly what somebody with a gun in his vehicle would’ve done. How was she to know the difference? She’s trained to shoot before he can pull the possible gun out, not after she sees it and he has gotten off a shot or two.

        • Oak510finest

          Thank you for proving my point! Albeit your response was a little wordy. Nonetheless, you did exactly what I said most, if not all of white supremacist or suspected white supremacist say and do regarding the unjustly murder of black people. I will repost for your convenience.

          ” Let’s see how long before @justlwantedtocomment, @SrAgri, @Had Enough, @alwaysright and the other racist white supremacist trolls. Either find a way to blame the victim, or minimize this cold blooded murder”.

          “No way possible these race soldiers..sorry, I mean cops are ever at fault, right? It’s simply not possible. Now, I know to normal people, who are both rational and logical this defies probability”.

          “However, what do you expect white supremacist to say other than. What I say happened.. is what happened! To hell, with any facts or logic. That simply doesn’t matter. What matters is, ” I am white and I say so”. ???

          • justwantedtocomment

            Thanks for making that so convenient for me.

            If Crutcher had been a white woman and Shelby had been a black man, would you feel differently?

          • Oak510finest

            Great question! Now please explain to me, since it is never about race as you stated. And each of these instances should be judged individually on it’s own merit.

            Why don’t you have a comparative or real life example as the one you asked me? Especially since blacks are the real racist.

            “If Crutcher had been a white woman and Shelby had been a black man, would you feel differently”?

            Why isn’t there an example of a black male cop shooting a white female with her hands up?? Or a black cop shooting a white kid holding a toy gun?

    • Oak510finest

      @justwantedtocomment Have to keep the white supremacist narrative going at all cost right? Whenever in doubt, no need to fear…it’s a bird, it’s plane! No! It’s “I’m white and I say so and I am here!!

      Trayvon Martin- His fault
      Mike Brown-His fault
      Alton Sterling-His Fault
      Sandra Bland-Her Fault
      Walter Scott – His Fault
      Eric Gardener- His Fault
      Philando Castille- His fault
      Ezekial Ford- His Fault
      Oscar Grant- His fault

    • SrAgri

      Yep. The writer here knows what really happened, I’m sure, but he’s trying to skew the facts to cater to his target audience – racist black people who hate Shelby because she is white and a police officer.

  • SpiceGirl

    nothing new here to see…move along…same shet just different toilet paper!!!

  • SrAgri

    I’m glad officer Shelby is able to return to work. I hope the Tulsa PD continues to provide her with counseling for the trauma of the shooting.

    • Oak510finest

      @SrAgri Of course you do. All klansmen support the military arm of white supremacy. So no surprise that you would support a white supremacist murderer.

  • Oak510finest

    @SrAgri
    “Yep. The writer here knows what really happened, I’m sure, but he’s trying to skew the facts to cater to his target audience – racist black people who hate Shelby because she is white and a police officer”.

    If your statement above is true @SrAgri. Then why are you on this site?? Why are you somewhere you deemed, that you are not welcomed. Since you are not part of the” target audience?” (so called black racist)

    Is your obsession that strong, that it takes you somewhere you don’t want to be? Where 90% of your post are in disagreement with the articles written and identical in verbiage to other known white supremacist.

    If you are not a part of the targeted audience and in that much disagreement with the articles on this site. Articles that are written by and for black people. If not an obsession, I ask again, why are you here?

    You will certainly not find black people. Who are not a part of the target audience trolling sites like 4chan, reddit, alt-right blogs and stormfront.org. Then complain and whine about the articles written.

    • La-Chanda Sexclibra Smith

      It will be black cops killing white kids and then the cop will be indicted and it will be the cops fault. Have you people seen shots fired, just ended but the greatest show and not one white lie in it.

  • La-Chanda Sexclibra Smith

    Her name, enough said. Had it been Shaniqua she wouldn’t be at work but in a cell.