That Big Bad Dude Was…

One would think a change in police culture would be more immediate and decisive, but this story proves yet again we need major changes.

AP:

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An unarmed black man killed by a white Oklahoma officer who was responding to a stalled vehicle can be seen in police video walking away from officers and toward his SUV with his hands up before he approaches the driver’s side door, where he drops to the ground after being shocked with a stun gun then fatally shot.

Tulsa police helicopter footage was among several clips released Monday showing the shooting of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher and its aftermath. In that video, a man in the helicopter that arrives above the scene as Crutcher walks to the vehicle can be heard saying “time for a Taser.” He then says: “That looks like a bad dude, too. Probably on something.”

Police Chief Chuck Jordan announced before the video and audio recordings were released that Crutcher had no weapon on him or in his SUV when he was shot Friday. It’s not clear from the footage what led Betty Shelby, the officer who fired the fatal shot, to draw her gun or what orders officers gave Crutcher. Local and federal investigations are underway to determine whether criminal charges are warranted in the shooting or if Crutcher’s civil rights were violated.

Crutcher’s twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher, called for charges Monday.

“The big bad dude was my twin brother. That big bad dude was a father,” she said. “That big bad dude was a son. That big bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College, just wanting to make us proud. That big bad dude loved God. That big bad dude was at church singing with all of his flaws, every week. That big bad dude, that’s who he was.”

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.