Tulsa officer not guilty in fatal shooting of unarmed black man

A jury in the U.S. state of Oklahoma has found a white policewoman not guilty of manslaughter over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man past year. According to The New York Times, the jury included eight women, four men and four Black people. "I have four grandchildren that are at home now that has lost their daddy", he told assembled press after the verdict. "I'm going on record to say they did their job, but I'm wondering what they were thinking about".

Crutcher's father, the Rev. Joey Crutcher, told reporters he accepts the verdict but that he believes "Betty Shelby got away with murder".

Some civil rights advocates have argued that race was a factor in the fatal shooting, while Shelby denied. Shelby testified that she had seen a training video in which a man walks to a auto, reaches in and pulls out a gun.

Ms Shelby also said she feared Mr Crutcher was under the influence of PCP, a powerful hallucinogenic known as Angel Dust that makes users erratic and unpredictable.

The jury's finding prompted a demonstration outside the courthouse, with protesters chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot!" and "Not justice, no peace!"

Ms Shelby looked stone-faced when the verdict was read, but Mr Crutcher's family was quickly ushered out of the courtroom. "He was not an immediate threat", Crutcher's sister, Tiffany, said after the verdict. As Shelby approached the scene, she found Crutcher wandering around near the vehicle, rambling incoherently and placing his hands in his pockets, despite numerous warnings not to do so. No weapon was found on his vehicle or person. In the moments before Crutcher was shot, an officer in a police helicopter was overhead referring to Crutcher as a "big bad dude" - a description the family found particularly offensive.

Crutcher's family said that police had "demonized" their son and played up the PCP angle, while downplaying the fact that he was not armed. "What I got out of this case was that a cover up was exposed", she said. The SUV belonged to Crutcher.

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Mayor G.T. Bynum said at a news conference Thursday that he respected the jury's decision, while also calling Tulsa's racial divide the city's greatest moral issue.

Protests over Crutcher's death and Shelby's verdict have been peaceful.

Crutcher's family and supporters complained after the defense rested that their relative and his past transgressions were being put on trial, not Shelby.

Betty Shelby leaves the courtroom with her husband, Dave Shelby, right, after the jury in her case began deliberations in Tulsa, Okla., Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

However, Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray said video clips appear to show Crutcher was shot five seconds before he appeared to reach inside his auto.

Prosecutors have said Shelby overreacted because Crutcher wasn't being combative and had his hands raised high.

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