A Jury's Verdict Isn't the Final Word on Tulsa Officer Who Shot Unarmed Man

If you're crying over what just happened in Tulsa, hold on.Just because a jury — no jaw-dropping surprise there — cleared Officer Betty Jo Shelby of a first-degree manslaughter charge in the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher, doesn't mean this thing is over. To the dismay of many, Shelby was reinstated Friday. "Pursuant to the jury verdict of acquittal in the criminal case of Officer Betty Shelby, she is being returned to duty, " Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said in a statement. "She will not be assigned in a patrol capacity."In an unusual open letter filed Friday with a state district court in Tulsa, the foreman of the jury that found Shelby not guilty wrote that if Shelby "had any opportunity or flexibility of judgment to subdue the suspect with a less lethal force in the moments before the event culminated tragically, then her ability and judgment as an officer under pressure has to be called into question, and serious consideration given to whether she be allowed to return to practicing law enforcement." Shelby's still under the microscope. She's now the target of a federal civil rights investigation, similar to the one that targeted the South Carolina officer who shot Walter Scott in the back on April 4, 2015. That shooting, which was about as bad as it gets, demonstrated how difficult it is to win convictions against police officers.  Continue reading...

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