First Look

Video of black man shot by police in Tulsa had hands up

Video of police shooting and killing a black man in Tulsa, Okla., shows that the man's 'hands were in the air,' says a pastor who viewed the footage.

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    Dwight Beal,14, hugs Rev. Joey Crutcher on Saturday. Dwight, 14, who attends church with Crutcher, said he wanted to check on him because his son, Terence Crutcher, was shot and killed by Tulsa police the night before.
    Mike Simons/Tulsa World/AP
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After seeing the footage of Friday's fatal shooting of a 40-year-old black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the hands of a white police officer, a pastor said, "His hands were in the air from all views."

Rodney Goss, a pastor at the Morning Star Baptist Church in north Tulsa, saw the videos along with other local community leaders and the family of the victim, Terence Crutcher. Mr. Goss said he was shocked and appalled after watching the interaction between Mr. Crutcher and two white police officers and listening to audio from the shooting.

The footage is scheduled to be released to the public on Monday afternoon.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Shane Tuell told the Tulsa World, "We wanted [the family] to see it before it was released so they wouldn’t be blindsided by it… We wanted to be able to have that intimate time with them, with their attorney, to see if they had any questions or concerns."

"With something of this magnitude, we’re trying an approach that we believe is necessary to further that transparency," Tuell said.

The footage included the dash camera footage from two of the responding officers' vehicles and footage from the police department's helicopter camera.

According to Goss, the footage shows Crutcher's SUV parked in the middle of the road after it had broken down. In the footage, Crutcher walks towards the officers, as if seeking help, Goss said, and later walks back towards his vehicle. 

The officers had reported that Crutcher reached into his vehicle and then was subsequently tasered by one police officer and shot by the other. But, Goss said, Crutcher did not reach into the SUV or display any behavior that would warrant being shot, and does not appear to have a weapon in the videos.

"It was not apparent at any angle from any point that he lunged, came toward, aggressively attacked, or made any sudden movements that would have been considered a threat or life-threatening toward the officer," Goss said.

Most disturbingly, Goss said, "After having been shot, a couple minutes it appears, but it seemed like a lifetime, went by before anyone actually checked with him as far as pulse – as far as whatever the case may be."

Authorities say Crutcher died at a hospital after the shooting. But the family's lawyer questions those statements after seeing the footage, saying Crutcher "died on the street by himself in his own blood without any help."

Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons said the video was so disturbing that he couldn't sleep.

Police spokeswoman Jeanne MacKenzie had said that Crutcher refused orders to put his hands up, but Goss said that his hands were clearly in the air when he was tasered and shot.

In the audio along with the video footage, a man in the police helicopter can be heard saying that Crutcher's hands were up, but also saying he looked like "one bad dude," Goss said.

Crutcher's twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher, told reporters Saturday that her brother had left a class at Tulsa Community College when his vehicle stalled. On Monday, she said the public needs to know that he was a loving father and son who sang in church each week, according to ABC news. 

The family is calling for peaceful protests.

Tulsa Officer Betty Shelby, who fired the fatal shot, has been put on paid leave pending an investigation. Officer Tyler Turnbough discharged the stun gun. Both officers are white, MacKenzie said.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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