Police Conference Caves To Activists, Cancels Deputy Betty Shelby's Talk

Deputy Betty Shelby was asked to talk about her officer-involved shooting, but has since been uninvited.

Baton Rouge, LA – A police association removed a speaker from their upcoming conference agenda after receiving backlash from groups hostile to law enforcement.

The former Tulsa police officer who was acquitted of manslaughter in the 2016 shooting death of a PCP-fueled suspect was scheduled to speak at the upcoming Southeastern Homicide Investigators Association (SEHIA) conference.

The SEHIA rescinded Roger County Deputy Betty Shelby’s invitation on Sunday, The Advocate reported.

“We realize now there are people around the country who do not understand why we would present this case or how our investigators could learn and benefit from hearing the case presentation which led to [the officer’s] arrest, prosecution, and ultimate acquittal,” the SEHIA said in a press release.

Then-Tulsa Officer Shelby was headed to an unrelated domestic violence call on Sep. 16, 2016, when she came across 40-year-old Terence Crutcher standing next to his SUV in the middle of the road, CNN reported.

Officer Shelby stopped to ask him if the vehicle belonged to him, but Crutcher did not respond and began walking towards her with his hands stuffed in his pockets.

"He had a very hollow look in his face, kind of a thousand-yard stare, so to speak, and would not communicate,” Officer Shelby’s attorney, Scott Wood, told CNN at the time.

The officer repeatedly asked him to keep his hands visible, and Crutcher complied intermittently before he walked to the back of her patrol car and shoved his hands in his pockets yet again.

Officer Shelby suspected he was under the influence of something due to his behavior, and radioed for backup before she drew her weapon and ordered Crutcher to get on his knees.

Crutcher ignored her, and walked back to his SUV as additional officers arrived at the scene.

"She was yelling at him to stop, for probably at least 10 to 15 seconds,” Wood explained. “He gets to the window of the SUV, and has his hands in the air, looks at them ... and his left hand goes into the window.”

Officer Shelby said she believed Crutcher was reaching for a weapon, so she fired her duty weapon, killing him.

Investigators later recovered PCP from Crutcher’s vehicle, but did not find a gun.

Officer Shelby was charged by District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler just six days after the shooting, despite the investigation just getting started and a homicide detective telling him that there wasn’t enough evidence. Charges were filed before Kunzweiler had the autopsy or investigation report.

Prior to the trial, there had been claims that Crutcher’s window was actually closed. During the trial, evidence proved that the window was down and the prosecution had to concede the point and that Crutcher was reaching in at the time he was shot.

She was acquitted by a jury in 2017.

"The jury concluded that any officer put in that situation at that exact moment and regardless of the skin color, gender or size of the suspect, would have performed the same way, which is in accordance with their law enforcement training," the jury foreman wrote, according to NBC News.

“[The officer-involved shooting was] unfortunate and tragic, but justifiable due to the actions of the suspect,” the foreman added.

Officer Shelby was sidelined by her department, and placed on permanent desk duty for her safety.

She finally resigned, writing in her resignation, "It is with a heavy heart that I have made the following decision. Effective August 3, 2017, I will resign from the Tulsa Police Department. Since being reinstated, I have found that sitting behind a desk, isolated from all of my fellow officers and the citizens of Tulsa, is just not for me."

In August of 2017, the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office in Oklahoma hired the former officer as an active reserve deputy, Tulsa World reported. Six months later, she started working as a full-time deputy.

Deputy Shelby was scheduled to speak about “Surviving the Aftermath of a Critical Incident” during the SEHIA’s 2018 conference, The Advocate reported.

“We think this is an opportunity for law enforcement officers to learn the ramifications of the use of lethal force and make sound decision to do so only when necessary to save their own lives and the lives of the citizens in the communities they are sworn to protect,” the SEHIA said in a statement.

“She was asked to present on what has happened to her since the homicide of Terence Crutcher so other officers will understand the aftermath of their decisions and the effect on their lives and the lives of others,” the statement read.

On Friday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense and Educational fund sent a letter to the SEHIA, demanding that they rescind Deputy Shelby’s invitation to speak at the conference, The Advocate reported.

"Deputy Shelby is not a victim of Mr. Crutcher's homicide. The late Mr. Crutcher and his survivors are the victims," the letter read. "Deputy Shelby's subsequent acquittal on manslaughter charges is not an exoneration of her decision to kill an unarmed man."

“Allowing these officers to now share with a national audience of law enforcement personnel how Deputy Shelby ‘survived’ the consequences of a homicide that she committed is inconsistent with the purported work of SEHIA members – pursuing justice for homicide victims and their families,” the NAACP letter continued.

“Allowing Deputy Shelby to share her self-centered experience in a critical incident will underscore that killing Black residents does not matter to law enforcement - a notion that SEHIA should not endorse,” the letter said.

The association caved to the activists' demands.

SEHIA noted that they opted to rescind Deputy Shelby’s invitation after “careful consideration of all perspectives of national, state and local leaders,” including local law enforcement, The Advocate reported.

"We understand this community has taken strides to heal its relationship with local police and we want to support those efforts," the SEHIA said. "We appreciate the opportunity to be here and we want to be respectful to every city our conference visits."

Approximately 350 investigators were expected to attend the conference, which began on Monday in downtown Baton Rouge.

Comments (18)
No. 1-13
kgolfinghawaii
kgolfinghawaii

Hopefully a lot of those detectives recinded their payment to go as well. To allow an organization like the NAACP to dictate who speaks is just plain stupid.

JackMroz
JackMroz

As a retired LEO I am ashamed of this decision of SEHIA. To often Law Enforcement associations bend to outside activists, like the NAACP and others.

LEO0301
LEO0301

Not surprised. This is the world we live in. I remember the local president of the NAACP in my community always getting press by making comments about the "racist police". That all stopped when he was arrested for running a brothel and selling drugs. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

SICKOFITALL
SICKOFITALL

WHEN YOU START LETTING THE MOBS RULE THE WORLD, THEN THESE IDIOTS WILL DESTROY THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT.

Combokid
Combokid

I f you allow activists to dictate who can or cannot appear at your conference you open the door for them. What happens next time you have a conference? Maybe they will object to the conference itself, so what then? You shut the whole thing down? You can't let these libtard activist groups to dictate what we can or can't do!!!

ArizonaG30
ArizonaG30

What kind of "chicken shit" police association do they have? Everdently a "spineless" one

K9ndn
K9ndn

Hmmm interesting. They didn’t mention that the 6-4 300lb man was on PCP. He was aggressive and dangerous. Yes it was a screw up on the taser deployment and the lethal force back up. That investigators association will lose a ton of members because of the poverty pimps putting so called pressure on them. WHO FKING CARE IF THEY DONT LIKE IT!!

DrJeffreyP
DrJeffreyP

Unbelievable. Why do we care what outside groups, who might or might not understand, think, say or believe.

I'm shocked and somewhat embarrassed that this organization would do that.

As much Bravo Sierra training we have to sit through because of outside groups, why shouldn't we have some training that might - just might - be beneficial?

Blue Ocean1
Blue Ocean1

Shame on SEHIA for caving.. When are you going to grow a spine and stand up to anyone, regardless of race, religion or background, that has a beef with law enforcement and tries to bully you into submission. Oooh, its POLITICS!!!! Anyone can say or do whatever they want to law enforcement and they stay quiet and take it.. There are outstanding leaders that actually care about their personnel and their reputation who speak out and fight back, but very few exceptions.

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

This is too long to read, but just from the title, I have a one word comment... WEAK!!! Stand up for your Law Enforcement. Just because we serve the public, it doesn’t mean we are public slaves. We have to speak up to defend ourselves also. We not only have a duty to the public, but to each other and the rest of the brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement. Since when does it say Law Enforcement are allowed to be bullied by the public, just because of protests, and public outcry? I would invite any one of them loud mouths to come do the job for one day. Maybe even half a shift! And I’m talking about uniforming up, so they are “one of us” and see how they do the job. If they can.

CRETE GARY
CRETE GARY

What a shame they caved in.Seems like this is going on everywhere now.NAACP.BLM and other Black groups just have to say they don't like it and they win.For Gods sake stick up for free speech and stop letting others tell you what to do.Get a back bone.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Definitely a bad idea for her to speak while the Crutchers civil suit against her is still pending.

mrd183
mrd183

Very weak guys.