TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- An Oklahoma police chief says his department will continue to uphold the public's right to protest following demonstrations after a Tulsa jury acquitted Betty Shelby.
About 100 demonstrators gathered outside a courthouse late Wednesday after the verdict was announced. Tulsa officer Betty Shelby had been charged with manslaughter in the killing of Terence Crutcher.
Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Thursday during a news conference that the protest was peaceful and he expects that to continue. Jordan said his officers de-escalated tensions. Police asked protesters not to block streets when some stepped into an intersection.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said he respected the jury's decision but that the city still has racial disparities to change. He called Tulsa's racial divide the city's greatest moral issue.
Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has called for calm after a jury found a Tulsa police officer not guilty in the shooting of an unarmed black man last year.
In a statement after Betty Jo Shelby was acquitted of manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher, Fallin said: "Those who disagree with the verdict have the right to express their opinions. I just ask that they do so in a peaceful manner."
Tulsa has a long history of difficult race relations dating back to a 1921 race riot that left about 300 black residents dead.
The father of a man fatally shot by a Tulsa police officer last year says that the officer got away with murder.
Speaking after a jury found Shelby not guilty of manslaughter, Rev. Joey Crutcher, father of Terence Crutcher, said: "Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder."
Terence Crutcher's sister, Tiffany Crutcher, says that her brother did not show any aggression toward Shelby, did not attack her and did not threaten the officer.
Tiffany Crutcher said: "Betty Shelby murdered my brother and after she murdered my brother the Tulsa police department covered up for her."
The lawyer for a Tulsa police officer says Betty Jo Shelby is elated that a jury has found her not guilty of manslaughter in the shooting of an unarmed black man last September.
Defense Attorney Shannon McMurray says Shelby is "elated and very proud of her jury."
McMurray says Shelby is ready to get back to her life.
Shelby testified that she shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher out of fear because she said he didn't obey commands to lie on the ground and appeared to reach inside his SUV for what she thought was a gun. Prosecutors argued that Shelby overreacted, arguing that Crutcher had his hands in their air and wasn't combative.
A jury has acquitted an Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man last year.
The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for over nine hours Wednesday.
Tulsa Officer Betty Jo Shelby says she shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher out of fear because she said he didn't obey commands to lie on the ground and appeared to reach inside his SUV for what she thought was a gun.
Prosecutors argued that Shelby overreacted, arguing that Crutcher had his hands in their air and wasn't combative.
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