Cop who shot Terence Crutcher should be labeled a ‘thug with a badge’

Betty Shelby of the Tulsa Police Department. Tulsa Police Department
Betty Shelby(Photo credit: Tulsa Police Department)

The killing of Terence Crutcher by Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby, is just one of the latest in the string of Black men shot by police. A video proved that Crutcher, 40, had his hands raised when he was shot and killed by 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 in a helicopter hovering over the scene said, “he looks like a bad dude.” It was a case of racial profiling from the beginning.

Terrance Crutcher (Photo Credit: Facebook)
Terrance Crutcher (Photo credit: Facebook)

Now it has been revealed that Shelby’s past behavior would label her as a thug if the same blatant media bias is used for her as was for Black men killed by police. By all accounts, Shelby has a troubled past that includes drug use, domestic violence and irrational behavior.

Before joining the Tulsa Police Department in 2011 she was a deputy sheriff  in the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office since 2007. On her job application, she indicated a series of troubling encounters.

Shelby has divorced and remarried at least once. According to the job application she submitted to the sheriff’s office in 2007, her ex-husband’s new wife filed a protection order against her in 2002 because of harassing  phone calls made by Shelby. The order was eventually denied and Shelby maintained her innocence.

In the same application, she noted a breakup with her then-boyfriend led to the two damaging each other’s cars. Temporary restraining orders were filed and eventually dismissed.

Shelby admitted  that she had “possessed and used illegal drugs” in the past. Shelby states in her application that she used marijuana twice when she was 18 years old.

Shelby also has had two excessive force complaints filed against her during her law enforcement career. Both of those cases were dismissed as unfounded.

Despite these disturbing occurrences, she was still hired as a police officer. Shelby has now been charged with first-degree manslaughter for killing Terence Crutcher. In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the shooting.

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.

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