Tulsa, Oklahoma - Officer Betty Shelby's manslaughter trial has started for the shooting of Terrence Crutcher, and the prosecution's case is already falling apart.
Thursday is day 4 of the jury trial against Officer Betty Shelby. The jury selection just finished on Wednesday, and we've had time for multiple witnesses to be called to testify; none of the evidence appears to be helping the prosecution.
The biggest news so far was that the prosecution and defense now agree that Terence Crutcher's windows were rolled halfway down at the time of the shooting, according to News On 6. This has been one of the most critical points of the case, as Officer Shelby said that she shot Crutcher as he was reaching into his window.
After the shooting, the Crutcher family attorney took a low-quality image of his window, as seen from the police helicopter, blew it up, and printed a giant poster claiming that it showed that the window was up.
The window is pivotal in the case because officers are trained not to let suspects return to their vehicles to gain access to weapons. If the window was closed, then Crutcher couldn't have been reaching through the window for a weapon. Now that we know the window was actually open, the prosecution doesn't seem to have much of a case.
Perhaps if District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler had actually bother to wait to read the report, or for the investigation to be completed, he may have decided that there wasn't actually enough evidence to file charges. Instead, he recklessly charged Officer Shelby less than a week after the shooting, despite the homicide sergeant telling him that there was not enough evidence for probable cause.
According to Taylor Newcomb, Corporal Wyett Poth caused unrest in the courtroom when he testified that there would be "a group of people" upset about the shooting "simply because of the color of somebody's skin."
The witnesses called by the prosecution have so far have supported Officer Shelby's use of deadly force.
The outcome of this trial is sure to outrage many. If she if acquitted, as it appears that she should be, then her acquittal would come just shortly after the DOJ failed to indict the officers who shot Alton Sterling, and may increase tensions more. If Officer Shelby is convicted, then it's sure to have a chilling effect on law enforcement.