In September 2016, Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Crutcher’s SUV was stalled in the middle of the road and police surround him as they were on their way to an unrelated call. Initially, Police officials said Crutcher failed to comply and refused to put his hands up, but video footage of the incident showed Crutcher in the middle of the street with his hands up as the police approached him. Moments later, Shelby shot him.
Shelby was arrested and later acquitted. She claimed that she was in fear for her life because Crutcher appeared to be under the influence of drugs and she thought he was reaching for a weapon in his car.
After being found not guilty of first-degree murder in May, The Grio reports she requested for the record of the shooting to be expunged from her record. On Wednesday, District Judge William LaFortune ruled that the case would be removed from her record, and all documents related to the case sealed except by court order.
Only government and law enforcement will be able to access the information of the case.
Shelby’s attorney, Shannon McMurray, explained why it was important “to have that smear on her name removed from public view.”
“Like any other citizen who is acquitted, Betty Jo Shelby was entitled to have her record sealed and expunged,” she said. “Betty … continues to work to try and serve her community and prays for everyone’s continued healing.”