The Southeastern Homicide Investigators Conference rescinded Betty Shelby’s invitation to speak about her case after civil rights groups and the parents of the man she shot protested. She was acquitted in the 2016 killing of Terence Crutcher.
Former Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby was disinvited from speaking at a homicide investigators’ conference after criticism from civil rights groups and the parents of a man Shelby killed, the Tulsa World reports. Shelby, who was acquitted in the 2016 shooting death of Terence Crutcher, was scheduled to speak at the Southeastern Homicide Investigators Conference in Baton Rouge, La. The organization said it originally wanted her to speak as part of an exercise for conference attendees to evaluate how they would have investigated the case. “We realize now there are people around the country who do not understand why we would present this case or how our investigators could learn and benefit from hearing the case presentation which led to her arrest, prosecution and ultimate acquittal, the group said, adding that it rescinded the Shelby invitation “after careful consideration of all perspectives of national, state and local leaders.”
Shelby, along with her husband, David, and retired Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker were scheduled to talk about the case, under the title, “Surviving the Aftermath of a Critical Incident.” It’s unclear whether Walker’s invitation was also rescinded. Several civil rights groups objected to the Shelby invitation, notably the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Shelby, now a Rogers County Ok., sheriff’s deputy, fatally shot Crutcher on Sept. 16, 2016, during a traffic stop while Crutcher had his hands up. Shelby claimed she believed Crutcher was reaching inside his vehicle.