CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - In police video from last September, 40-year-old Terence Crutcher was walking to his abandoned SUV with his hands up with multiple officers behind him. Betty Shelby, a Tulsa police officer, pulls the trigger and Crutcher later dies.
Shelby was found not guilty of first-degree manslaughter.
“I was really shocked since the video showed what her position was,” said James Tolbert, with the Jefferson County NAACP
James Tolbert is also the President Emeritus of the West Virginia NAACP. Even though he was surprised by the verdict, he says what happened is nothing new.
“It follows the same trend all a long as regards to shooting black men, unarmed and also he wasn't threatening to her, so we just don't understand how that could of happened,” said Tolbert.
Tolbert believes the root of the problem comes from previous administrations not addressing the issue.
“And it's directly a repudiation of the previous administrations policies for them to be more and more careful of shooting first and asking questions,” said Tolbert.
The police chief of the Tulsa Police Department did announce that Shelby will return to active duty, but will not be assigned in a patrol capacity. Tolbert isn't sure if Shelby should be allowed back on the force.
“And I’m just wondering if she shouldn't be held out, I’m wondering if that police department should not give more training to it's police officers because I think it was all on TV how she approached him,” said Shelby.