Betty Shelby, an ex-Tulsa, Oklahoma police officer, not only walked free after fatally shooting an unarmed man with his hands in the air, she was also hired by another police department, and now, a judge ruled that documents related to the case will be sealed so they will not be found in background searches.
In May, Betty Shelby was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter in the fatal September 2016 shooting of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher; on Wednesday, a judge ruled the killing will be removed from her record after she asked to have it expunged.
District Judge William LaFortune ordered all documents involving Shelby’s case sealed. The case will be accessible only through a court order and can be destroyed after 10 years, according to state law, reported NBC 4.
This means that agencies will be unable to find the case during a background search, Shelby’s defense attorney, Shannon McMurray, told NBC.
Her attorney believes the fact that she shot and killed an unarmed with his hands in the air should not affect future employment possibilities as a police officer.
“Like any other citizen who is acquitted, Betty Jo Shelby was entitled to have her record sealed and expunged,” McMurray said.
The lawyer added that it was important for Shelby “to have that smear on her name removed from public view.”
As most cops do after they kill unarmed people, Shelby testified at her murder trial that she was scared for her life because Crutcher appeared to be on drugs. Video from a patrol-car dashboard and a police helicopter showed that Crutcher had his hands in the air when he was shot and killed. But that didn’t matter because cops are automatically innocent if they say the words, “feared for my life.”
Shelby got her job back after the acquittal but resigned in July and now works as a reserve sheriff’s deputy in nearby Rogers County.
Betty Shelby has become a face of injustice, a reminder that cops can kill unarmed people with their hands in the air and still face no punishment. She serves as a constant reminder that the justice system is failing the American people.
Until there is justice, we will not forget.
(Article By James Carter)