TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby was booked at the local county jail early Friday and released shortly after on $50,000 bond.
Shelby has been charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Terence Crutcher, after his SUV broke down last week.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler announced the charge Thursday. The criminal complaint against Shelby said her “fear resulted in her unreasonable actions which led her to shooting” Crutcher, 40. She is accused of “unlawfully and unnecessarily” shooting him after he did not comply with her “lawful orders.”
Attorneys for Crutcher’s family said Thursday they will be seeking a “vigorous prosecution” that results in a conviction.
“This is a small victory,” Crutcher’s twin sister, Tiffany, told reporters.
“The chain breaks here. We’re going to break the chains of police brutality,” she added. “We know the history.”
The possible penalty for conviction on first-degree manslaughter in Oklahoma is four years to life, according to Susan Witt, the spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.
What cameras showed
CNN reached out to Scott Wood, the attorney for Shelby, but has not received a response.
Earlier this week, Wood said his client thought Crutcher was behaving strangely and ignored her commands, and that she was afraid that he might be reaching for a weapon.
It all started after a 911 call last Friday from a woman who said an abandoned car was blocking the street and a man was running away. The man warned that it was going to blow up, the caller said.
Shelby was the first officer to arrive on the scene, though she was not responding to the 911 call. She was on her way to a domestic violence call when she saw Crutcher standing in the street, according to investigators.
She stopped behind his car, which was a block away.
The chief investigator said in an affidavit that Shelby then approached the car, “cleared the driver’s side front and then proceeded toward the passenger side of the vehicle.” Then she saw Crutcher and talked to him.
“He was mumbling to himself and would not answer any of officer Shelby’s questions,” according to the affidavit.
Multiple police cameras, including ones mounted in squad cars and in a helicopter, captured the Crutcher shooting on tape. In the video, Crutcher can be seen with his hands raised above his head prior to his death. He walks away from Shelby toward his car.
There was no weapon found in the car.