The white Oklahoma police officer who shot an unarmed black man in Tulsa was charged with first-degree manslaughter on Thursday (22 September) by Tulsa County District Attorney, Steve Kunzweiler. Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on 16 September.
"A warrant has been issued for her arrest," and arrangements are being made with Shelby's attorney for her surrender, Kunzweiler said in a brief statement, according to NPR. The district attorney said Shelby will be taken into custody by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Department.
Aerial footage of the shooting shows Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms raised. However, Shelby's attorney maintains the father of four was not obeying police commands and that his client fired when he began reaching into his SUV.
According to NPR, when the Tulsa Police Department released police videos of the moments of Crutcher's death, Chief Chuck Jordan called the footage "very disturbing; it's very difficult to watch." Jordan dismissed Shelby's assertion that Crutcher had a weapon. He said: "I'm going to tell you right here and now: There was no gun on the suspect or in the suspect's vehicle."
Crutcher's family also discounted the claim, saying he was not a threat to police and did not have a weapon on him or in his vehicle.The US Justice Department is also conducting a civil rights investigation into the case.