Betty Shelby, the white Oklahoma police officer who was acquitted of killing an unarmed black man, will be allowed to return to work Monday, according to Tulsa police chief Chuck Jordan.
“On the basis of the jury verdict of acquittal in the criminal trial of the Officer Betty Shelby, she is returned to duty,” the Tulsa Police Department said in a statement provided to Fox News. “They will not be laid out in a patrol capacity.”
TERENCE CRUTCHER CASE: OKLAHOMA OFFICER BETTY SHELBY ACQUITTED IN DEADLY SHOOTING
Shelby was on unpaid leave after he was accused of manslaughter for the September 2016-recordings of the 40-year-old Terence Crutcher.
After deliberating for more than nine hours on Wednesday, the jury found Shelby not guilty, sparking outrage from Crutcher’s family and supporters. Protesters briefly blocked a street outside the court when the verdict was announced, shouting” No justice, no peace” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
Shelby said she shot Crutcher out of fear after he disobeyed commands to lie on the ground and appeared to reach in his SUV for what she thought was a gun. Prosecutors said the officer overreacted, with the argument that Crutcher had his hands in the air and was not aggressive part of which was confirmed by the police video that showed Crutcher walk from Shelby with his hands above his head.
An autopsy found Crutcher had PCP, a drug that can cause hallucinations, in his system when he died. His wife said that was not relevant to the case.
THE WEEK IN PHOTOS
In a post-court filing on Friday, the judges said Shelby can be a less lethal method to subdue Crutcher and could have saved his life. The jury foreman also noted in a memo that the judges were not comfortable with the idea Shelby was “blameless” in Crutcher’s death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.