Unarmed man fatally shot by officer 'had PCP in his system'

By Sarah Larimer

A man holds a copy of the programme for the funeral in September of Terence Crutcher. Photo / AP
A man holds a copy of the programme for the funeral in September of Terence Crutcher. Photo / AP

An unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Tulsa had the drug PCP in his system when he died last month, according to a medical examiner's report.

Terence Crutcher had "acute phencyclidine intoxication" when he was shot by officer Betty Shelby, according to a report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Oklahoma, which was released today.

Crutcher, 40, suffered a "penetrating gunshot wound of chest," states the report, which notes that some of his ribs were fractured and that a bullet fragment was recovered.

"The cause of death is penetrating gunshot wound of chest with musculoskeletal and visceral injuries," states the report. "The manner of death is classified as homicide."

Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter in the wake of Crutcher's death. Tulsa District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charge against the five-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department after the September 17 shooting.

Shelby "reacted unreasonably" and became "emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted," an affidavit stated.

If convicted, Shelby could face a minimum four-year prison term. During a court appearance in September, one of her lawyers entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf.

Another of Shelby's attorneys, Scott Wood, said that the autopsy test result "confirms what Officer Shelby surmised the night of the shooting from Mr Crutcher's appearance and non-compliant behaviour".

More than 700 people have been fatally shot by police this year, according to a Washington Post database. Of those shootings, 175 involved black men.

- Washington Post

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