In court papers filed on behalf of Officer Betty Shelby on Thursday, attorneys claim that “auditory exclusion” prevented her from hearing another officer say he had a Taser ready.
Scott Wood, one of Shelby’s attorneys, says his client didn’t realize that other officers were standing with her.
“He has his hands up and is facing the car and looks at Shelby, and his left hand goes through the car window, and that’s when she fired her shot,” Wood said, according to the Tulsa World.
Officer Shelby says she found Crutcher behaving erratically in the road with his stalled SUV, leading her to believe that he was “on something”. Shelby radioed in that she had a subject “who was not following commands.”
Officer Shelby says she commanded Crutcher to get on his knees, but he did not. That’s when Shelby says she pulled her gun instead of her Taser because she believed Crutcher had a weapon.
“If you think someone has a gun, you don’t get your Taser out,” Wood explained.
Homicide Sgt. Dave Walker confirmed that a search of Crutcher’s vehicle revealed he was in possession of PCP.
It is too soon for a toxicology report that will be a part of the autopsy.
The state insists that Shelby, who is charged with manslaughter, overreacted.
“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 affidavit states.