- Abandoning a Vehicle on a highway or other public property – violates OK statute 47-71-901 –
- Penalty: removal of vehicle. – Traffic violation.
- Driving while intoxicated – violates OK statute 47-11-902 –
- Penalty: Not less than 10 days nor more than 1 year in jail and a fine of not more than $1,000. – Misdemeanor
- Possession of a Schedule I or II substance violates OK Statute 63-2-402(B)(1):
- Penalty: minimum four years in prison, max 20 years, or a fine less than $10,000 – Felony (big jump there which is interesting on levels we’ll discuss at another time.)
- Looking like a “bad dude” that may have committed the first two offenses – violates no statutes:
- Penalty: Death without legal process.
In regards to the shooting of Terence Crutcher, SIX police officers had eyes on the situation:
FOUR on the ground. TWO in a helicopter.
The TWO in the helicopter and ONE on the ground believed the use of a taser would be appropriate by their words and actions.
TWO, on the ground, didn’t use any force at all.
ONLY ONE chose to take a life.
Now first, you, civilian you, couldn’t shoot me for not listening to you and walking back to my car. I think that’s an obvious statement, but I want to throw it out there since this state is Open Carry. You have a gun, but that doesn’t mean you can just use it.
Police, on the other hand, work a dangerous job and need to be able to protect themselves and others. This is why they have vests and backup and protocols and bean bags pellets and pepper spray and sticks and tasers and guns etc. They should be equipped to reasonably defend themselves and protect the public. But, this has also led to them being given more leeway on when killing someone is an “acceptable mistake.” I, and many others believe there’s too much leeway, but it is the reality we currently live in.
However even in this reality, 5 out of 6 cops wouldn’t have shot Terence Crutcher.
We know this statistic because we saw it acted out live and in color. We don’t have to wonder if other police officers in her position would have done the same thing. Several were and they didn’t.
5 out of the 6 police officers involved on the actual scene, regardless of what they may now say in hindsight, wouldn’t have and didn’t shoot Terence Crutcher.
So is that really acceptable? Is that really justifiable?
We are not talking about the appropriateness of an arrest here. This was a homicide.
That officer, with a vest, a gun and backup, who, at the time, says she only had reason to believe this man was guilty of the first 2 violations referenced above, which are non violent and ultimately carry a MAXIMUM penalty of 1 year in jail, feared for her life because Terence what….
Eventually lowered his hands?
Because he had a “thousand yard stare?”
Because even though he had been behaving peacefully with his hands up, he wasn’t obeying her every command?
Some say, “We were not there, so it is difficult to say from our perspective what would be reasonable.”
But truthfully, should she be considered reasonable in her actions when three other police officers in her exact situation did not find it necessary to behave the way she did? Are we to believe the other three were behaving negligently for NOT shooting?
Some say “We should wait on more facts before making up their minds.”
But the facts that should matter are whether or not she was in immediate danger of death and serious bodily harm. He was unarmed, made no movements in her or any of the officer’s directions, and posed no immediate threat. We have the facts we need.
No, what people are waiting for are more facts to help care less about the life that has been lost. (i.e. the vial of PCP, the possession of which is also not remotely punishable by death, see above, and not known about prior to the fatal shooting, or all the false reports of Terence Crutcher’s supposed warrants and former convictions that DO NOT EXIST by the way.)
Instead of seeing this as an abuse of force and power, which it was, we (public opinion), as I’ve continually stated, will look only to whether or not the officer is a “racist”… “Objectively racist.”
No one will be able to prove her to be that without uncovering a secret stock pile of Nazi propaganda films and a Klan hood as that is what it takes these days.
This is the bar because if that is the definition of racism, John Q. Caucasian doesn’t have to worry about that label ever pointing back at them.
But that is not the only racism that’s killing black men in the streets anymore. We are not as endangered by racism fueled by hate, as we are by racism fueled by fear.
Dylan Roof unreasonably hated unarmed Black people and will be punished for killing them. But too many Police, and in my opinion, ultimately also jurors, unreasonably fear unarmed Black people and punishment is avoided for the same lethal actions.
Whichever misplaced motivation you act under should not matter, but here in 2016 America, it still does.
It is not only the nation’s refusal to acknowledge this present inequitable treatment of minorities both in general and by those meant to serve them, but the objectively obvious history of this throughout our American past that endangers my life and might protect yours for taking it.
It’s that flash of an instant thought when you see dark skin that makes you think “there’s a ‘bad dude!’”
That’s what killed Terence Crutcher.
Not a bullet.
Not even a cop.
A person, with a gun, believed the hype.
p.s. Officer Shelby has now been charged with First Degree Manslaughter in violation of OK Statute 21-24-715. This crime carries a minimum of 4 years to do. The same minimum as the worst possible crime Terence Crutcher could have been charged with (all of which were non-violent) is the same minimum penalty for unjustifiably taking his life.