Betty Shelby, The Killer Cop Murderer of Terence Crutcher, Walks Free
It seems like just another day in police state America. It was only about 8 months ago that we witnessed the public execution of another unarmed black man. 42-year old Terence Crutcher was shot to death by 40-year old Officer Betty Shelby would be charged with first-degree manslaughter for shooting him after protests and controversy erupted in Tulsa, OK where the shooting occurred. As you can see from the title of this article, two days ago on May 17, 2017, Shelby was acquitted and found Not Guilty in the murder of Terence Crutcher.
I'm not going to go into the details of the case because it's largely irrelevant at this point. I choose to speak more on the baked in pro-police state, pro-state violence bias that exists in America that continues to allow killers like Betty Shelby to walk free. Even worse, there's an entire system in place to not only letter killer cops off, but to legitimize their brutality in the court of public opinion.
Case in point is the sit-down interview 60 Minutes did with Betty Shelby back in April where she doubled down on murdering Crutcher and said: "any police officer in my situation would've done the same thing." If we are to believe that, it does nothing but show how deeply predatory law enforcement in America truly is - that is in no way, shape or form ok. Shelby is not a rookie and has been on the force for ten years, so you wouldn't expect her to make rash decisions to end life like that. However, all too often we see that experience really means little when you have a system set up to vilify and assault certain communities like the black community. The constant fearmongering in law enforcement has created a cultural mentality where this type of behavior is justified.
You guys notice also how police officers like Shelby dehumanize their victims in the rare cases where a cop is allowed to speak to the media before a verdict is handed down (that's usually a telltale sign btw that they won't be brought to justice)? In the link above, Shelby refers to Crutcher as being "zombie-like" when she first arrived on the scene moments before killing him. She called him a zombie, like this, was an episode of The Walking Dead or something. Think back to when notorious killer cop Darren Wilson did interviews with the media where he said Michael Brown "looked like a demon" and that he "felt like a 5-year old holding onto Hulk Hogan." Dehumanization not only plays a major role in letting killer cops walk, but it actually proves a lot of the criticism's of policing to be true as well.
It always comes back to devaluing and diluting the quality of black life. Something that would not happen in a society based not on incarceration and militarism, but on freedom and justice. America is not a land built on either, despite what you may have been raised to believe. I know our laws say one thing, but far too often our laws are selectively enforced and very easily perverted.
As stated above, this system legitimizes state violence and state murder. It's why you see killer cops get to air "their side of the story" on national television whereas often times the families of the dead are nowhere to be seen. That's a pro-police state slant that is deeply ingrained in the corporate media. You see it on news shows that will have a bunch of police state apologists on the panel and no one to provide a counter-argument. It is not the norm in America to give angry black people a massive platform to air our grievances against American injustice.
Then you have the problem with juries and how the jury system is not without its flaws either. All too often, members of the jury sympathize more with the law enforcement officer in cases like this than they do with the family of the dead. You hear statements from a member of the jury who say things like "I don't think Officer Shelby is a bad person." Now let's break that down for a second. This is a woman who not only killed an unarmed man but showed little remorse for his murder on 60 Minutes. She doubled down on the shooting saying that Terence Crutcher brought his death on himself! I know this is done for political reasons and she was likely told to say that by her lawyers, but that doesn't excuse it. You can't be a "good person" while thinking that shooting an unarmed man to death who didn't deserve to die is somehow a justified thing. Good people don't kill unarmed people and if they do, you'd imagine a good person would be remorseful about it and say if done differently they wouldn't do it again. Officer Betty Shelby is not a good person! Yes, I said it.
However, this shows you the mentality of many Americans who will give a killer cop like Betty Shelby tons and tons of benefit of the doubt, but would "Jerome the drug dealer" get the same benefit? Would any non-white defendant, who isn't a cop, get that type of privileged treatment from society? The answer, of course, is no.
Not only do we have a criminal injustice system that jumps through hoops to justify the unjustifiable, but we also have everyday people who see no problem with state-sponsored murder. People who don't realize America is the abnormality when it comes to violence from law enforcement. This is not happening in most other developed nations...we are the outlier, not the norm. Until people wake up and realize that, change will be difficult.