TULSA - Many in the north Tulsa community say their initial shock to the death of Terence Crutcher is starting to morph into anger at the initial lack of charges brought against Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby.
Terence Crutcher was fatally shot by Officer Shelby after a Tulsa Police Department spokesperson says he refused to comply with orders to put his hands down. In footage of the incident there is a picture of Crutcher with his hands in the air.
Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby was later charged with first degree manslaughter and surrendered early Friday morning. She was released on $50,000 bond.
On Monday, police said the investigation would take time but many say they’re losing faith in officers and the justice system.
“Pretty soon, people aren't going to respect the police anymore,” said north Tulsa resident Orlando.
Several community members say they’re worried what will happened if they’re pulled over by police. Many of them say they don’t feel safe.
“Everyone's thinking, everyone's talking, everyone's upset, everyone wants answers ... everyone is mad,” said community advocate Angie Pitts.
Reverend Chris Moore with Fellowship Congregational Church believes those local residents may just have a point.
“This is not just a north Tulsa problem. This is a Tulsa problem. This doesn't affect one subsection of the community's problem,” said Reverend Chris Moore. “This is a community problem and if policing is not just and fair and done in the best way possible, that impacts all of us.”
The investigation into Crutcher's case is still ongoing. Rather than protesting, many local organizations want to bring the community together to reinstate trust in the city.
Lifelong resident Orlando’s trust in Tulsa’s finest has been shaken. “It hurts me because I'd have thought it'd be safe. "Police are supposed to be safe, I'm not supposed to be scared or not want to talk to them,” he said.
“It's not easy. It's not easy at all,” said Seeking the Kingdom Ministries Pastor Mareo Johnson.
It’s the type of dialogue that's new to Johnson and many in the area.
“You're dealing with a different type of emotions but people is people so you just got [sic] to do your best,” he said.
While it's hard for many to watch Tulsa in the national spotlight, some like Reverend Chris Moore are promoting understanding.
“It's trying to listen to that outrage, that anger, and understand ... hear where that comes from and accept that as a reality,” said Moore.
It’s a reality that many Tulsans are pushing for at home in hopes that Terence Crutcher's death wasn't in vain.
“We can't give up on Tulsa. We gotta [sic] make Tulsa better and it's got to begin with communication between the law and us,” said Pitts.
Groups from all over town, like All Souls here will join dozens of north Tulsa churches Wednesday night at Metropolitan Baptist to honor the Crutchers and pray for the Tulsa community.
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