Were drugs involved in police shooting of unarmed Terence Crutcher?

Terence Crutcher via Facebook
Terence Crutcher via Facebook

The train of victim blaming is never late when a Black man is shot by police.This time it has made a stop during the investigation of the death of unarmed Black father of four, Terence Crutcher, 40. Video of his death showed the pastor with his arms raised as he was gunned down by police next to his stalled car.

Police claim that Crutcher ignored officers’ commands and was shot dead by Tulsa officer Betty Shelby, while her male partner used his taser. Before the encounter, an officer flying overhead is heard on a recording saying that Crutches looked like a “bad dude.” Police stated that Crutcher moved to the driver’s side door of the car when they fired on him, possibly as he was reaching inside the car. Now police have a possible explanation for his actions; it was announced that drugs were found inside Crutcher’s car. According to police, a vial of PCP, commonly known on the streets as “angel dust” was recovered. Angel dust is legendary for its affects of giving users extreme strength and uncontrollable behavior. At the height of the drugs’ popularity during the late ’70s and ’60s, there seemed to be a large uptick in police shootings of Black males high on PCP.

There was no possible way for police to know that PCP was in the vehicle, as Crutcher was stalled on the road and reportedly reading and awaiting help. But now the faint whiff of the possibility that “maybe he was high on angel dust” is being introduced.
Toxicology reports from Crutcher’s autopsy will not be available for weeks to determine if the drug was in his system. But just seeing the video of Crutcher’s police extrajudicial execution it is apparent that the unarmed man did nothing to deserve being shot down.

The train of victim blaming said unarmed Black male “Mike Brown was high on weed”; the train kept going and said that unarmed Black male  “Trayvon Martin was going to make ‘lean’ with Arizona Ice Tea and Skittles.” Now, it seems to stop and say unarmed Black male “Terence Crutcher had PCP in his car.”

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Join Our Newsletter

Get the latest news from Rolling Out.