The shooting of
Terence Crutcher, 40, was one in a string of police killings of
unarmed black people over the past two years that have sparked
protests and debate across the United States. Tulsa police
officer Betty Shelby has pleaded not guilty to first-degree
manslaughter in connection with the shooting and is out on bond.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office report said Crutcher had
96 nanograms per milliliter of phencyclidine, or PCP, in his
bloodstream at the time of his death on Sept. 16. The office
said the figure reached the threshold for "acute phencyclidine
Tulsa police said previously that PCP was discovered in
Crutcher's stalled SUV after his death. Police said Crutcher was
unarmed and had no weapon on him or in his car. The department
also released video of the shooting that showed Crutcher had his
hands in the air and was in clear view before he was shot.
American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma's executive director,
Ryan Kiesel, said Crutcher having drugs in his system was
irrelevant to his killing.
"Drug possession and drug use do not now, nor should they ever,
justify summary execution," he said, adding that the findings
"do not tell us whether or not Terence Crutcher was under the
influence of PCP at the time of this encounter. Testing positive
to a substance in your system is very different than being under
the influence of a substance."
According to an arrest affidavit, the officer overreacted when
she came upon Crutcher, whose car had broken down. Shelby has
said she fired her weapon because she feared for her life.
Under Oklahoma law, first-degree manslaughter carries a minimum
sentence of four years. She is scheduled to appear in court for
a preliminary hearing on Nov. 29.
PCP, initially developed as a human anesthetic in 1959, is an
illegal drug that can produce a dissociative mental state in
users as well as delirium, confusion and other effects,
according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
(Reporting by Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton in Tulsa, Okla.; Editing by
Curtis Skinner and Peter Cooney)
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