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Terence Crutcher Foundation Marking 5 Years Since Police Killing With Vigil, Community Events

Chris Polansky
Dr. Tiffany Crutcher (at lectern) and Greg Robinson at an April 20, 2021, Tulsa press conference following the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

A nonprofit established in the wake of the 2016 police killing of Tulsan Terence Crutcher is marking five years since his death this week with a series of commemorations and community events.

"Thursday, September 16th will mark five years since Terence Crutcher was cruelly and unjustifiably killed by Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby during a routine traffic stop," the Terence Crutcher Foundation wrote in a program of events posted to Facebook. "Terence, a beloved family man, college student, and member of his church choir, was unarmed with his hands in the air when Shelby shot him in cold blood.

"Since then, Tulsans of all walks of life have called, marched, and worked for change and justice that has not yet come. However, even as local leaders may be quick to dismiss calls for progress as 'radical,' those who believe in justice across our city and country refuse to rest. This week, five years after Terence’s life was cut short, the foundation named in his honor will hold a series of events aimed at driving toward change and keeping Terence’s legacy alive."

Events include a panel on Black mentorship, a virtual town hall on Oklahoma's new anti-protest laws implemented in the wake of demonstrations opposed to systemic racism and police violence, and a Thursday candlelight vigil.

"It was also five years ago that the Crutcher family, led by the incredible Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, said, 'We are going to take this moment and turn tragedy into triumph. We are going to take this moment and allow for Terence's blood, his life, not to have been wasted and spilled in vain," said foundation board member Greg Robinson during the virtual event kicking off the commemoration week on Monday.

"5 years NO Justice. 5 years NO Peace. 5 years just CRAZY FAITH," Tiffany Crutcher, Terence's twin sister, wrote on Facebook. "Will you continue to BELIEVE with us?"

Shelby was charged but acquitted in Crutcher's killing during a traffic stop. She subsequently resigned from the Tulsa Police Department but today continues to serve as a police officer with the Rogers County Sheriff's Office.

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