TULSA, Okla. — The Latest on the manslaughter trial of Betty Jo Shelby, a white Tulsa police officer, in the fatal Sept. 16 fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man (all times local):
The supervisor of a white Oklahoma police officer who shot an unarmed black man told her to say nothing about the incident because he knew the shooting would be racially explosive.
Tulsa police Cpl. Wyett Poth testified Thursday about his directions to Officer Betty Jo Shelby after the shooting of Terence Crutcher. He said he walked up to Shelby at the shooting scene to make sure she knew she had the right to say nothing.
The testimony came in the second day of Shelby’s manslaughter trial for the Sept. 16 shooting.
Six witnesses have testified that an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white Oklahoma police officer didn’t say or do anything indicating he posed a threat to officers at the scene.
A police officer who was inside a police helicopter hovering overhead last September described 40-year-old Terence Crutcher as looking “like a bad dude” who “could be on something.” Moments later, Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby shot Crutcher.
Officer Michael Richert’s statement outraged Crutcher’s family, who said it indicated racial bias. Richert told prosecutors Wednesday he “had no idea” if Crutcher was on something when he was shot.
Prosecutors charged Shelby with manslaughter, saying she overreacted when she fatally shot Crutcher because he was obeying her commands.
Shelby has pleaded not guilty. Her trial continues Thursday.