Killer Cop: “It’s a lynch mob!” “I’m the victim!”

Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby (Photo: Tulsa PD).

Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby (Photo: Tulsa PD).

Remember Betty Jo? She’s the cop who murdered Terence Crutcher, who had his hands up. I’ve posted three times prior about this case: one, two, three. The third post was about her first attempt at a defense, “auditory exclusion”, claiming she was so stressed, she went temporarily deaf, and didn’t hear back up arrive. There were many problems with that so-called defense, not the least of which is how she missed the taser dot on Mr. Crutcher, aimed by her back up. Now Ms. Shelby has shown up on 60 minutes, where she woefully claimed that she was the victim, and she’s had a lynch mob after her.

In an interview with 60 Minutes aired Sunday night, Betty Jo Shelby both insists that her killing of Terence Crutcher was justified and portrays herself as the real victim in this saga. After a video snippet of protesters calling for her resignation, Shelby likens the Tulsa community’s accountability demands to “a lynch mob.”

“My situation was no different than — I don’t know whether I should say this — than a lynch mob coming after me. And I had those very threats,” said Shelby.

Lynch mobs kill people. Betty Shelby still has a job. She faces at most four years in prison in the statistically unlikely event that a jury decides her killing of Crutcher was unlawful manslaughter rather than justifiable police action.

It is unusual for someone accused of manslaughter to go on national TV to discuss specifics of a case before a jury has heard it. Potential jurors will now likely have seen both raw videos of Shelby killing Crutcher, and CBS’ tight repackaging of the Shelby team’s narrative of what the videos do and do not show.

This is beyond disgusting. It’s bad enough to have a bigoted, homicidal cop roaming about, and it’s already clear there won’t be justice for Terence Crutcher in this case. The charge is manslaughter, and even if convicted, which is doubtful, the maximum sentence is four years. That’s not much for gunning a person down in cold blood.

Shelby insists that implicit racial bias played no role in her decision-making that day.


She agreed with Whitaker that Crutcher’s death was “avoidable” but ultimately lays the blame on the dead man.

“If he would have communicated with me, if he would’ve just done as I asked him to do we would not be here,” Shelby said.

Right. Shelby isn’t a bigot at all, and Terence Crutcher is dead because Terence Crutcher. The depth of racism white people in uStates carry around is deep and ever present, and it’s past time that everyone else keeps turning a blind eye to it. That said, I have no faith the jury in this case will do the right thing.

Full story at Think Progress.


  1. says

    It seems to me that the cop has two possible arguments:
    a) I’m incompetent
    b) I’m a racist
    But apparently thinks she has an argument in the form of:
    c) I’m a victim

    She already shot the victim in this scenario; she needs to stick to option a) or b)

  2. rq says

    I would like to see straight white male police officers in this position a lot more often than seems to happen -- but that still doesn’t make her a victim. Except of the sexist system within the force, maybe that, but that’s three doors away from the fact that she shot a guy with his hands up because she saw threat in the colour of his skin.

  3. Dunc says

    My situation was no different than — I don’t know whether I should say this — than a lynch mob coming after me.

    No, you really shouldn’t say that, because it’s both obviously false and deeply offensive.

  4. Saad says

    “My situation was no different than — I don’t know whether I should say this — than a lynch mob coming after me.

    Nazi guard during his trial:

    “What is this?! I feel like I’m being detained in a concentration camp!”

  5. says

    Did she just DARVO?

    Denied wrongdoing.

    Attacked the victim (“if only he had cooperated”)

    Reversed Victim and Offender (claiming to be the real victim)

    I believe she did…

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