President Obama calls Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett for update regarding Terence Crutcher protests

Posted at 5:51 PM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 16:02:19-04

TULSA - President Obama called Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett to discuss the recent shooting of Terence Crutcher and affirm the administration's commitment to provide assistance if needed. 

A White House official sent a statement saying that Obama spoke with Mayor Bartlett about the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher and the protests that have been held in the city since the shooting. 

Crutcher was fatally shot after, a department spokesperson said, he refused to comply with orders to put his hands up. Footage of the scene, shows when Crutcher's car stalled was left unattended, shows Crutcher with his hands up at one point. 

Terence Crutcher, 40, died after being shot by Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby on September 16. Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby was charged with first degree manslaughter and surrendered early Friday morning. She was released on $50,000 bond.

Latest On Terence Crutcher Officer Involved Shooting

President Obama also spoke with Mayor Jennifer Roberts of Charlotte, North Carolina about the recent fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. 

"The president and both mayors reiterated that any protests should be conducted in a peaceful manner and that local law enforcement should find ways to calmly and productively engage those protesting. The president will continue to receive updates on the situations from Attorney General Lynch and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett," reported the White House. 

Bartlett sent a statement about the phone call saying "His [Obama's] conversation with me was very positive. He said that he was proud of how Tulsa is responding to a very difficult situation, asked what he could do to help. I said that his calming words of not taking violence as a method of protest would be welcome to the country. He said that our mayor’s office, the police chief, and our relationships with the community were obviously very beneficial. He was very positive towards us and our city. Made me very proud."

Editor’s note: Originally we posted that the incident started as a traffic stop. Tulsa police have assisted us in clarifying that the initial call Officer Betty Shelby responded to when she encountered Crutcher involved reports from witnesses saying that a vehicle was left unattended near 36th Street North and Lewis Avenue. The two witnesses in the audio recordings described the vehicle “in the middle of the road” and “blocking traffic.” We apologize for any confusion.

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