Oklahoma Officer Fatally Shoots Unarmed Black Man With Hands Up In Alarming Video
A shocking Dash-cam video released by the Tulsa Police Department on Monday shows 40-year-old Terence Crutcher with his hands above his head moments before being fatally shot by an officer.
According to local media, Crutcher was shot and killed Friday after officers responding to an unrelated call spotted his vehicle stalled in the middle of the roadway and stopped to check it out. Within seconds, the officers pulled out their guns and ordered Crutcher to put his hands up, even when no crime was being committed.
The police department earlier said Crutcher refused orders to put up his hands, but the footage appears to show him walking toward his vehicle with his hands above his head.
At a press conference on Monday, Damario Solomon-Simmons, an attorney for Crutcher’s family, said the department’s claim that Crutcher died at the hospital was not true.
“Terence died on that street in his own blood, without any help,” the lawyer said.
“We saw that Terence did not have any weapon,” Solomon-Simmons said. “We saw that Terence did not make any sudden movements. We saw that Terence was not being belligerent. We did not see Terence reach into the car. We did not see Terence attacking the officers.”
The video shows multiple police cruisers approach Crutcher’s vehicle, which appears to be broken down in the middle of the road. Crutcher is seen with his hands in the air. Both hands clearly empty.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan called the video “very disturbing” and “very difficult to watch.”
Jordan said an investigation of the incident is ongoing. The U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a separate civil rights inquiry into the shooting, according to an AP report.
“Protests are not a problem,” Jordan said on Monday, but he urged the community to stay peaceful. “Let’s not have any more death over this,” he said.
Warning: This footage may be disturbing to viewers.
Like many other states, Oklahoma has a disproportionately high rate of black people being killed by police. In April, Robert Bates, a former volunteer reserve Tulsa County sheriff’s deputy, was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter for the 2015 shooting death of Eric Harris, another unarmed black man, Huffington Post reported.