The attorney for Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby said that she had a temporary loss of hearing during the confrontation with Terence Crutcher that prevented her from hearing another officer say that he had his Taser ready.
Attorney Scott Wood said that Shelby had experienced “auditory exclusion,” a phenomenon that sometimes occurs in stressful situations because the person experiencing it is so focused on the critical incident.
Because of this phenomenon, Wood claimed, she did not hear the sirens of the other police car, nor did she hear Officer Tyler Turnbough announce his presence and say that he had his Taser ready.
“She doesn’t have any recollection of that at all,” Wood said.
Wood went on to say that Shelby’s actions in shooting Crutcher were justified because she believed he had a gun. “If you think someone has a gun, you don’t get your Taser out,” he said.
However, the probably cause affidavit stated that “Shelby reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation from a confrontation with Mr. Crutcher, who was not responding to verbal commands and was walking away from her with his hands held up, becoming emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted.”
“The video … clearly showed that Terence Crutcher did not have a weapon, that Terence was not belligerent, that Terence had his hands up, that Terence was not a threat,” said attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons. “When we saw that video, we knew there was no reason for Terence to be shot down in the street.”