Hands Up, Shot to Death.

Dash cam video shows Terence Crutcher with hands above his head (screen grab)

Dash cam video shows Terence Crutcher with hands above his head (screen grab)

It is with queasy despair followed by anger that I see yet another person dead, murdered by cops.

Dash cam video released by the Tulsa Police Department on Monday showed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher with his hands above his head moments before he was shot and killed by one of the officers at the scene.

At a press conference on Monday, Chief Chuck Jordan explained that the video was “very disturbing — very difficult to watch.”

The video shows multiple police cruisers approach Crutcher’s vehicle, which appears to be broken down in the middle of the road. Crutcher is seen with his hands in the air. Both hands appear to be empty.

Pastor Rodney Goss of Morning Star Baptist Church, who was able to view the dash cam video as well as video from other department vehicles, said that all views showed Crutcher’s hands in the air.

Goss also denied claims made by a police spokesperson that suggested Crutcher was shot because he refused to obey commands.

“It was not apparent at any angle from any point that he lunged, came toward, aggressively attacked, or made any sudden movements that would have been considered a threat or life-threatening toward the officer,” Goss told Tulsa World.

The article at Tulsa World is full of assurances that justice will be done, and the cop who murdered Mr. Crutcher, Betty Shelby, has been placed on administrative leave. I have to question those assurances of justice, because we’ve all heard that one before, over way too many corpses. There’s also much murmuring about “can’t talk about it yet” “might be criminal charges, we need to investigate” and “we don’t know how long an investigation will last”.

We have to stop asking what the dead person may or may not have done. This is akin to justifying rape as something caused by the victim. We need to be asking, in our shoutiest voices, why cops are murdering, and why they are allowed to get away with it. I don’t much care what any ‘suspect’ does, it’s going to be a very rare case indeed which actually calls for being gunned to death. There are plenty of examples of cops handling highly dangerous people, and everyone gets through it alive. We need to asking why, if cops are so darned scared, why are they being allowed to wander about with weapons, and interacting with people? This has to stop, and if police, as they have so far shown, continue to be unwilling and unable to police their own, we will have to do it for them.

My heart and thoughts go out to Mr. Crutcher’s family and friends, who must be lost in shock and grief.

Via Tulsa World and Raw Story. There’s ground and air video at Tulsa World.

And then you have things like this, a cop viciously assaulting a person on the ground, and who was left to carry on as a cop until late August (the assault took place in April this year) because

“It all had been documented,” Lawson said. “It just did not move as quickly as it should have.”

Via Raw Story.


  1. rq says

    I can’t read these articles today. Yesterday I cried about a man with a middle eastern name being arrested for the bombing in New York and I didn’t even read the articles, it was the headlines that set me off.
    So tired of this shit, and I’m not even in the victimized community. All of my heart goes out to Crutcher’s family and friends.

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