The white Tulsa police officer, who had resigned after being acquitted in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man, has just found herself a new job.
Betty Shelby, 43, resigned on July 14, 2016, after the not guilty verdict for the death of Terence Crutcher. Now, the very same officer has just been sworn in as a reserve deputy in a nearby county.
On Sept. 16, Shelby shot Crutcher after his car was blocking a road in Tusla. His death stirred nationwide protests, with activists claiming the 40-year-old man was racially profiled. Shelby denied the accusations, insisting that her actions were driven by Crutcher’s behavior.
However, footage of the incident showed that Crutcher was in full cooperation with his hands above his head and walking away from Shelby, toward his car when she shot him dead.
Shelby was released after spending a little over 20 minutes in custody and posting a $50,000 bail.
This month, she was hired as an active reserve deputy for the Roger’s County Sheriff’s Department.
“I am honored to have been chosen to be a part of this wonderful department (and to work) with the citizens of Rogers County with a sheriff who is dedicated to ensuring justice for all, whether they are law enforcement or a member of our community,” Shelby said during a news conference at the Rogers County Courthouse.
Reserve deputies, who are unpaid but carry a firearm, carry out tasks “identical to anything that a full-time police officer that is paid or compensated for their duties,” said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton, who publicly backed Shelby in her trial.
The decision naturally did not get a positive response. Local activist group, “We The People Oklahoma,” issued a statement, claiming Shelby was unfit to be an officer.
“Betty Shelby’s lack of accountability and empathy is astounding, as is the fact that Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton believes she is fit for duty as a reserve officer,” said Marq Lewis, who leads organization.