Why Is Terence Crutcher’s Murderer Allowed To Teach a Police Course She Tragically Failed?
Terence Crutcher was murdered almost two years ago, on September 16, 2016, by a White police officer, Betty Shelby who was later acquitted of the charges against her, stemming from the fatal shooting.
The facts read like what we’re used to, because when a car that’s stationary in traffic with an owner who looks like Crutcher, who was forty years old at the time of his death, is brought to the attention of police officers on patrol. the ending is never a pretty one or even remotely decent.
Apparently, 9–1–1 calls were pouring in from considered commuters, who gave damning descriptions of an erratic Black man, who seemed to be out of his mind as he indicated that “his car was about to blow up,” while other witnesses kept insinuating that the abandoned vehicle signaled a troubling encounter would greet the arriving officers.
And so the chaotic setup only intensified once the cops showed up, and were already hyped up for the worst case scenario, even though Crutcher wasn’t armed and absolutely didn’t pose a threat.
The ill-fated encounter was captured by police dashcam and helicopter video, as the officers in the helicopter accurately assessed how their colleagues on the ground were going to fuck up standard procedure, by applying the optics of racism, and how it needlessly creates a volatile climate that ends with a senseless death.
“This guy’s still walking and isn’t following commands.” “It’s time for a taser, I think.” “I’ve got a feeling that’s about to happen.” “That looks like a bad dude, too, could be on something.”
As always, police officers have their version of the story that’s concocted in a fashion that’s supposed to validate why an innocent Black man is shot in the chest for doing nothing at all to warrant losing his life.
Officer Shelby claimed that the suspect was about to reach for his weapon in the driver’s seat of his car, even though it has since been proven that the window was rolled all the way up — making it unlikely that Crutcher was aiming to get his gun to initiate a shootout.
The aftermath of the murder that took the life of the “big, bad dude” who had recently enrolled at Tulsa Community College, also plays out the way you would imagine, in a country that only tolerates the currency of White supremacy.
The guilty police officers were placed on administrative leave as the evidence from the incident were gathered and examined. Once it became acutely clear that Betty Shelby’s deadly actions resulted in gross negligence, that stemmed from her lack of adherence to the rules of conduct, she was promptly charged with first-degree manslaughter.
She was booked at the Tulsa County Jail after she turned herself, and then the killer walked out a free woman, after posting a bond of $50,000. And despite being charged with “unlawfully and unnecessarily” killing Crutcher, on May 17, 2017, the charges against her were dismissed as the jury found her not guilty.
The autopsy report on Crutcher was eventually released, and it was confirmed that that he had high levels of “acute phencyclidine,” which is classified as a “dissociative drug” that can definitely affect the mood by inspiring general “detachment from the environment.”
But that fails to validate his murder, because even if Crutcher was displaying those behavioral signs — was his violent end the appropriate price to pay?
White men who commit mass shootings at high schools or predominately Black churches, are escorted from the scene of the massacre without bodily harm; and with the additional privilege of a free lunch at Burger King if the mass murderer makes that request.
Betty Shelby is a murderer who took matters into her own hands by miscalculating on purpose in order to make another Black life extinct for no reason other than to keep the reasoning behind how Black lives never matter.
She’s convincingly unapologetic about killing Terence Crutcher, and she demonstrated her non-remorseful stance during her infamous 2017 interview with CBS’s newsmagazine show, 60 Minutes, where she concluded that the Black man she killed deserved to die for not complying with her directions.
And now a year later, we’re greeted with the disgusting realization that as the family members of Crutcher try in vain to weather their existence without the man they love, Betty Shelby is living her best life — as if nothing happened.
Shelby, who is no longer assigned with the Tulsa Police Department following her departure right after her acquittal, is now a deputy at the Roger’s County Sheriff’s office, and her station allows her to teach classes about how to “survive the aftermath” of an officer-related shooting, at the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.
Apparently, Deputy Shelby has already taught this class more than once, and is about to do so again, and expectedly, the family of Terence Crutcher including activists, who are closely monitoring this latest development, are furiously appalled at the notion that the woman who woefully failed the very course she’s teaching — is being given the opportunity to breed a crop of idiotic police officers — who will be taught how to maintain the status quo of killing Black people on sight.
According to Shelby, the course titled “Surviving the Aftermath of a Critical Incident” will give officers the fundamental tools of dealing with what she insultingly refers to as the “Ferguson Effect,” which recalls the national catastrophe following the shooting death of a young Black man, Michael Brown at the hands of over-zealous police officers in Ferguson, Missouri.
The mislabeled reference illustrates:
“When a police officer is victimized by anti-police groups and tried in the court of public opinion.”
It’s no surprise that protests have already commenced, as community groups gather at the downtown courthouse in Tulsa to show support for the Crutcher family, while calling out Shelby for using her toxic influence to endorse future killings of unarmed Black people, who will be shot dead for the sin of not obeying orders from bigoted White cops.
What’s even more harrowing is the fact that this murderer is basking in White privilege, that allows her to deface Michael Brown by tarnishing his legacy, in an effort to vilify the motivation behind the Ferguson protests, that were held to initiate justice for a young life that was brutally cut short.
How is it possible that Terence Crutcher’s killer is allowed to teach a class she failed, after inexplicably escaping the clutches of the law?
Only a White person can get away with murdering a Black law-abiding citizen in cold blood, and then have the audacity to train impressionable minds on the basics of patrolling the streets, while giving them tips on how to survive the “aftermath” that follows unlawfully killing Black people while on duty.
It seems that Shelby is hell-bent on claiming victimhood after divulging how she was publicly tortured by the “lynch mob,” following the incident she escalated into a death scene by her own hands.
The painful aspect of this deplorably infuriating situation, is the visual of my brothers or male cousins, playing the role that so many Black men have embodied with horrid endings — and wondering how Black families who’ve borne the unimaginable, are able to cope when these types of headlines become public.
Betty Shelby is spreading the venomous falsehood of how “anti-police groups” are threatening the functionality of law enforcement, particularly in situations where cops are forced to shoot, to protect themselves from “big bad” Black men.
It seems that the “aftermath” of bad judgment, demands training to “survive’ the hostile climate that greets murderers who defend themselves from dangerous episodes — that involve unarmed and non-threatening Black suspects.
When White people are confused about the legitimacy of White privilege, the recommendation is to take a casual look at the headlines streaming through timelines, and they won’t have to wait too long to stumble upon the evidence of how White supremacy never fails to win.
Even when Black bodies litter the blood-stained streets, that are still wet with the residue of systemic betrayal.