In the wake of the Terence Crutcher police shooting, we’ve all been waiting to see what excuse Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby would settle on to justify the killing.
First, she claimed he was reaching into an open window, making her fear for her life, but the helicopter video showed the window to have been rolled up.
Then she claimed he was reaching into his pocket, also making her fear for her life, but the video doesn’t show that either. Plus, she only shot after another cop tasered him, so he obviously was not in fear for his life.
Then she claimed she used her expert drug awareness training to determine he was high on PCP, which also made her fear for life, but she never said anything to dispatch about this before the shooting when she claimed she couldn’t see his hands.
And yes, police claim they found PCP in the car, but they didn’t say that until days later when the first two excuses did not work. Also, the videos show he had his hands in the air and appeared to be complying, showing none of the listed symptoms of PCP, not that we have Shelby’s expert training.
So now she is claiming she was temporarily deaf during the incident. Perhaps she will eventually claim temporary insanity.
According to the Huffington Post:
Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby was temporarily deaf during her encounter with Terence Crutcher, this according to her attorney, Scott Wood.
Wood said Shelby had experienced what is called “auditory exclusion”, a form of temporary hearing loss occurring under high stress. This is apparently why Shelby did not hear sirens from the additional police vehicles, she didn’t hear when Officer Tyler Turnbough arrived, nor did she hear him announce to her that he has his Taser.
Wood said Shelby is justified in gunning down Crutcher, since she believed he had a gun, and “…if you think someone has a gun, you don’t get your Taser out.” No gun was found on Crutcher, nor his vehicle, and Shelby was not responding to a call about an armed person, so her suspicion of Crutcher being armed is questionable.
You would think that if this were the case, it would have used as initial excuse instead of the fourth excuse, but perhaps it took her lawyer some time to figure out this defense.
Here is a page that goes into detail about auditory exclusion, which does happen in high stress situations, but if that were the case, then why did it take so long to say it?
Shelby, who was charged with manslaughter, was bonded out of jail immediately after she turned herself in.