How the death of Terence Crutcher proves racist police are as deadly as ISIS

Betty Shelby of the Tulsa Police Department. Tulsa Police Department and her victim Terence Crutcher, 40
Betty Shelby via Tulsa Police Department.  Terence Crutcher via Facebook

It happens every time an unarmed Black person is killed by police and with the death of Terence Crutcher, it will happen again. Someone in the media or law enforcement will present methods that Black citizens can use to avoid conflict with police officers. There are even classes that attempt to teach young Black men how to survive interactions with police.

For example, Sheldon Smith and his foundation created a 12-week course to help Black men avoid police brutality. Some of the tactics included:

  • Stay calm.
  • Speak respectfully.
  • Never demand a police officer’s badge number.
  • If you get pulled over, keep your hands on the wheel.
  • Never question officers in a dark alley about tactics you think are unjust.

In theory, those actions should keep Black men from being killed or brutalized by police. However, that theory doesn’t work when the officers involved have racial biases and a gun.

A recent video proved that Crutcher, 40, had his hands raised when he was shot and killed by Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby. Crutcher, who was unarmed, kept his hands raised and leaned against a car before he was tasered by officer Tyler Turnbough and eventually killed by Shelby. Shortly before he was killed, an officer on the scene said, “He looks like a bad dude.” It was a case of racial profiling from the beginning.

Crutcher’s only crime was being a Black man who happened to cross paths with a racist police officer. His case proves that Black people always face the possibility of death when stopped by a police officer who holds racial biases. There aren’t any methods that can save a Black person and that’s troubling. It’s essentially a form of domestic terrorism. Blacks are being targeted by racist extremists who hold a badge and a gun and there has yet to be a significant movement to prevent this from happening. The voices of Black Lives Matter, concerned politicians, celebrity activists, and even President Obama have yet to put an end to police terrorism.

Terrorists aren’t concerned with playing by the rules. They are driven by sociopathic desires to kill and destroy anyone who they view as an enemy. And for the racist officer with a gun, Black people are the enemy. Any trained officer understands that an unarmed person with their hands raised should not be attacked with deadly force. But an officer who thinks like a terrorist will find a reason to react with violence.

It only proves that the number of deaths and brutality of Black people will continue to rise until racist police officers are viewed to be as deadly as members of ISIS.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required