Medical examiner: Tulsa man’s death a homicide

Protesters fill the food court chanting "Black Lives Matter" in the Oklahoma Memorial Union at the University of Oklahoma on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 in Norman, Okla. Prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, charged a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on a city street with first-degree manslaughter Thursday. (Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman via AP)
Protesters fill the food court chanting "Black Lives Matter" in the Oklahoma Memorial Union at the University of Oklahoma on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 in Norman, Okla. Prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, charged a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on a city street with first-degree manslaughter Thursday. (Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman via AP)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office says the man killed by a Tulsa, Oklahoma, officer died from “a penetrating gunshot wound of chest” and his death is considered a homicide.

But spokeswoman Amy Elliott says a full autopsy report and toxicology results for Terence Crutcher are not yet complete.

Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby was charged Thursday with first-degree manslaughter in Crutcher’s Sept. 16 death. An affidavit from District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler’s office said the officer “reacted unreasonably” when she shot Crutcher, who did not have a gun.

An attorney for Shelby has said the officer believed Crutcher was using the hallucinogenic drug PCP, and a police spokesman has confirmed the drug was found in Crutcher’s SUV.

 

Tulsa Community College says a ceremony will be held at noon Friday honoring Terence Crutcher, who was a student there. Crutcher had been scheduled to begin a music appreciation class at the college on Sept. 16, though the course was canceled a day earlier because of low enrollment.

Crutcher was shot to death Sept. 16 by Officer Betty Shelby, who was charged Thursday with first-degree manslaughter.

President Leigh Goodson says Crutcher brought to the school “his talents, hopes and dreams of creating a successful life by dedicating himself to completing a degree.”

Friday’s ceremony will include a moment of silence and comments from Oklahoma state Sen. Kevin Matthews, the chairman of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus.

 

President Barack Obama says recent reports of unarmed African Americans being shot by police “should be a source of concern for all Americans.”

In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Obama declined to address specific cases, although he noted that the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has invited the Justice Department to investigate the shooting there.

Authorities charged a white Tulsa police officer Thursday with first-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting last week of Terence Crutcher, who was black and unarmed.

Obama said protesters expressing their frustrations by looting or breaking glass aren’t going to “advance the cause” of racial justice. He added, “my hope is that in days to come people in the community pull together and say, ‘How do we do this the right way?'”

He said “it’s important for all of us to say we want to get this right.”

 

Tulsa County jail records show that 42-year-old Betty Shelby turned herself in early Friday, hours after prosecutors charged her with first-degree manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher.

The records show Shelby, who is white, was booked at 1:11 a.m. and released at 1:31 a.m. after posting $50,000 bond.

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges Thursday afternoon against Shelby, saying the officer “reacted unreasonably” when she shot Crutcher, who did not have a gun.

 

That decision that may prevent unrest in a city with a long history of tense race relations.

Prosecutors wrote in an affidavit filed with the charge on Thursday that Tulsa officer Betty Shelby “reacted unreasonably” when she fatally shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16.

Phil Turner, a Chicago-based defense attorney and former federal prosecutor, says that in acting quickly, prosecutors may partly have wanted to allay outrage in the city and avoid the kind of violent protests Charlotte, North Carolina, has seen over another recent police shooting of a black man.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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