TULSA - Terence Crutcher's family expressed their dissatisfaction with Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby's manslaughter trial after the defense rested its case Tuesday.
The family held an impromptu press conference at the Tulsa County Courthouse and presented news outlets with documents about Betty Shelby's past.
“As opposed to Betty Shelby being on trial, it appears that Terence Crutcher is on trial," said Pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church Dr. Rodney Goss.
They say the trial has been about Crutcher's past instead of Shelby's, so they presented court documents from 2005 that say Shelby's ex-husband claimed she physically abused their children, so he wanted custody.
“We’re trying to portray her as being an angel, and an angel she is not," said Pastor of My Church Walk of Faith Marcus Howard. “Her daughter said her mother had choked her and kicked her."
The documents say the judge found there wasn't enough evidence to prove the claims, but was troubled by the children's testimonies.
“I don’t see how that would go to her mindset during a shooting years later," said Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police Chairman Jerad Lindsey. “I’m sure Mr. Crutcher has many more things in his past there were not coming up because they’re not pertinent to what’s going on in this trial.”
The family also said that videos and articles the FOP released over the weekend were inappropriate.
“We felt that her decision-making needed context for the general public," Lindsey said.
Some of the videos were about the affects of PCP and the difference between action and reaction of officers.
“I don’t see an offensive thing in training materials, I really don’t," Lindsey said. “We still have a job to do, we still have to educate the public, we still have to allow people to understand why the jury may rule the way they do one way or another.”
The family ended its press conference without taking questions, but quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Terence is not on trial. It is his life that we are here to protect and to make sure that justice is served," Pastor Howard said. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
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