Terence Crutcher, who was shot and killed by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, had the drug PCP in his system during the shooting a toxicology report revealed on Tuesday (11 October). The 40-year-old was unarmed during the 16 September incident.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office said Crutcher had 96 nanogram per milliliter of phencyclidine, or PCP, in his system at the time of the shooting, Reuters reported. The office's report noted the figure was within the threshold for "acute phencyclidine intoxication".
Tulsa police previously said the hallucinogenic drug, often dubbed as 'Angel Dust', was found in Crutcher's SUV following his death. According to the Associated Press, PCP can illicit feelings of euphoria, omnipotence, agitation, mania and depression.
Officer Betty Jo Shelby, who was charged with first-degree manslaughter, claimed she believed Crutcher was reaching for a weapon from his vehicle when she shot him. Shelby's lawyer, Scott Wood, said the officer repeatedly asked him to stop walking and get down.
Video footage of the shooting shows Crutcher walking towards his SUV and putting his hands in his pockets. Shelby shot at Crutcher as he had his hands in the air. No weapon was found on Crutcher's person or in his vehicle.
The autopsy determined the cause of death was gunshot wound to the chest, CNN reported.
Ryan Kiesel, American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma's executive director, said the results of the toxicology report were irrelevant to his shooting, according to Reuters.
"Drug possession and drug use do not now, nor should they ever, justify summary execution," Kiesel said. He added that the findings "do not tell us whether or not Terence Crutcher was under the influence of PCP at the time of this encounter. Testing positive to a substance in your system is very different than being under the influence of a substance."
The Associated Press also reported that lawyers for Crutcher's family said the toxicology report "does not change the most pertinent facts of this tragedy" and added that Shelby "should be held accountable for her unlawful actions."
Meanwhile, Shannon McMurray, another of Shelby's team of lawyers, said the report provided an early "snapshot" of evidence in the case. "[I]t will be clear in my mind as the case unfolds that the officer was justified in her use of force," McMurray said.