© 2024 Public Radio Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104
(918) 631-2577

A listener-supported service of The University of Tulsa
classical 88.7 | public radio 89.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Federal judge tosses civil lawsuit in death of Terence Crutcher

Matt Trotter
For KWGS News
A few hundred protesters marched from the Greenwood Cultural Center to Tulsa City Hall in 2016 in a demonstration over Terence Crutcher’s death.

A federal judge dismissed a civil rights lawsuit Monday brought by the family of Terence Crutcher.

Crutcher, a 40-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by Tulsa Police officer Betty Jo Shelby in 2016 after she found him near a car stalled in the middle of the roadway near 36th Street North and Lewis Avenue. Crutcher was unarmed.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed a first-degree manslaughter charge against Shelby days after the shooting, but she was ultimately acquitted.

In 2017, Crutcher’s estate brought the lawsuit against both the city and Shelby, alleging excessive force.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren granted both defendants summary judgment. The judge cited, in part, that Crutcher’s estate could not make a compelling argument against Shelby’s claim of qualified immunity.

Shelby’s attorney, Scott Wood, told KWGS his client was "elated" at the ruling.

"[She] has a certain feeling of vindication after all these years," he said. "While an appeal could come, I don't think it's going to be fruitful."

KWGS reached out to the attorneys for Crutcher's estate, but did not receive a response.

A representative for the city told the Tulsa World that it “respects the court’s decision and clarity on the lawsuit.”

Ben Abrams is a news reporter and All Things Considered host for KWGS.
Check out all of Ben's links and contact info here.