Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby was charged Thursday with first-degree manslaughter, related to the shooting death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Prosecutors announced the charge after Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler promised Tuesday to launch a criminal investigation of the incident.
On Sept. 16, Shelby shot Crutcher, an unarmed black man, after encountering him outside his stalled car on a main road. Footage of the incident shows Crutcher had his hands up and began to lower them in the instant before he was shot; Kunzweiler said Thursday that he decided to file the charge after reviewing the video. A warrant has been issued for Shelby's arrest, and if she is convicted, she could face at least four years in prison.
The Department of Justice has also launched an investigation of the circumstances surrounding Crutcher's death.