The Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on Sept. 16 has been charged with first-degree manslaughter.
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges Thursday against Officer Betty Shelby, 42, after she was captured on video shooting Terence Crutcher, 40.
Crutcher was transported to a hospital, where he later died.
A warrant has been issued for Shelby’s arrest.
In a statement announcing the felony charge, Kunzweiler said Shelby’s attorney is arranging for her surrender.
Shelby said she felt “threatened” by Crutcher and believed he was on the drug PCP and had a gun. Tulsa Police told KOKI-TV a vial of PCP was found in Crutcher’s vehicle after the shooting.
Seconds before he was shot, Crutcher reportedly walked to his SUV, at one point holding his hands above his head. Shelby followed him with her weapon raised.
Crutcher’s SUV had broken down in the middle of the road, according to Oklahoma’s KOTV-6. Police arrived on the scene to check on the vehicle.
“As they approached the vehicle a black male started toward them,” Tulsa Police spokesperson Jeanne Mackenzie told KOTV-6. “They asked him to show his hands. He refused to follow commands given by the officers. They continued to talk to him. He continued not to listen, not follow any commands as they got closer to the vehicle he reached inside the vehicle and at that time there was a Taser deployment and then a short time later there was one shot fired.”
After Crutcher falls to the ground, Shelby shouts into her radio, “Shots fired!”
Watch helicopter footage of the shooting (Warning: Graphic):
Shelby’s attorney told the New York Times Crutcher “had acted erratically, refused to comply with several orders, tried to put his hand in his pocket and reached inside his car window before he was shot.”
Attorneys representing Crutcher’s family say the SUV window was closed, and Crutcher couldn’t have been reaching inside his vehicle.
“I want to assure our community, and I want to assure all of you and people across the nation who are going to be looking at this, we will achieve justice, period,” Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said at a press conference after the shooting. He called the videos “very disturbing” and “difficult” to watch.
On Monday, Shelby’s 2007 application to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office was made public. It revealed Shelby used marijuana twice when she was 18. KOTV-6 reported two excessive force complaints were filed against Shelby in 2011, but the station said the claims were determined to be unfounded.