Betty Shelby, The Tulsa Police Officer Who Killed Terence Crutcher, Believes (Wait For It) That She’s The Victim Here » VSB

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Betty Shelby, The Tulsa Police Officer Who Killed Terence Crutcher, Believes (Wait For It) That She’s The Victim Here

Tulsa, Okla., Police Department


Back in September, Terence Crutcher, an unarmed Black man, was walking to his car with his hands up when he was shot by Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby. This incident was caught on video by both a police dash cam and an aerial video from a police helicopter wherein an officer looking on the scene profiles Crutcher and calls him a ‘bad dude.’

On “60 Minutes” last night, Shelby said Crutcher “caused his own death” by “failing to comply” to her orders. She insisted that race had nothing to do with her shooting and killing an unarmed man. This was bad enough, but they were all things I’ve heard before. What happened next convinced me that I was in the White supremacy Matrix.

With tears in her eyes, Shelby had the fucking audacity to say that she feels like a ‘lynch mob is after her.’  Thereafter, her husband, also a police officer, said that there were two victims that night in September: Crutcher and Shelby.

Somehow this woman has found a way to talk herself into thinking she is a victim. She sat on national television and cried the Whitest of tears while expressing zero remorse for killing a man whom she thought had a gun, but, in fact, had one neither on his person nor in his car.

When she talked about a lynch mob coming to get her, I had cognitive dissonance. I could not believe I was in Oklahoma listening to a White woman talk about how she was afraid of a lynch mob.

How could she, a White woman, say that shit as a police officer in a city where White folks were responsible for the destruction of Black Wall Street– the worst mass killing of Black people in American history. An incident that began on the night of May 31, 1921 and lasted only  14 hours resulted in 35 city blocks burned, 800 people injured and more than 300 people killed. The mass murder finally ended when Adjutant General Charles Barrett of the Oklahoma National Guard arrived with 109 soldiers and declared martial law—but Darth Susan was sitting on my TV talking about how she was afraid of a lynch mob.

Then I thought about Laura and LD Nelson. On the night of May 2, 1911, a four-man posse arrived at the Nelson home to search for stolen cows as Laura, her husband Austin, their 14-year-old son L.D., and 2-year-old daughter Carrie were sleeping in bed. Startled by the men who burst into their home, L.D. grabbed a rifle off the wall to defend his family, but as Laura tried to wrestle the firearm away, it discharged and fatally wounded Okfuskee Deputy Sheriff George Loney.  On the morning of May 25, a lynch mob of 40 men arrived at the county jail and carried away L.D. and Laura. She was sexually assaulted, and then along with her son, lynched. As their Black bodies swung in the winds that came sweeping down the plains, the lynch mob posed for local photographer George Henry Farnum who captured an image that was later used on postcards. A district judge convened a grand jury, but no charges were filed because witnesses were unwilling to identity the 40 murderers—but no.

She was talking about neither Black Wall Street nor the Lynching of Laura and LD Nelson. She did not see that her killing Crutcher participated in the legacy of white violence against black bodies in Oklahoma. She was concerned about her feelings.

Crutcher reminded me of my uncle: a southern Black man who loved God, struggled with drug addiction and had a generous heart. She did not see him. She, like the police officer who was in the helicopter-circling overhead, saw a ‘bad dude.’ Or perhaps it was a ‘bad guy’—like the kind she told her grand son to chase as he rode in a toy police car later in the interview, reminding me of the way that anti-Blackness and stereotypes are passed down generation to generation.

I am constantly amazed by how police officers find a way to reason with and subdue white offenders without killing them, but Black men and women in far less confrontational encounters consistently end up dead.

Recently, NPR released a story on their podcast Embedded about a police shooting that could have happened—but did not. That perpetrator was threatening, running toward a police officer with his hands in his pocket, but the police used restraint. Of course, the suspect was White.

Terrence Crutcher had his hands up, was walking away from the officers, and, as his sister informed us, was most likely putting his hands on the car as he had been taught to do by his father when interacting with the police. It is sadly ironic that what his father taught him to do as a means to try to teach his son how to survive police encounters is what probably got him killed.

No. He was murdered.

What amazes me is not that it happens, but that police officers continue to insist that race has nothing to do with it. The same way that a glitch in the game had nothing to do with why Bo Jackson kept breaking through tackles every time you play with him in Tecmo Super Bowl.

Betty Shelby is the worst type of Darth Susan. What’s worse, she will most likely be found innocent because she will have a jury of her peers.

Law W.

Lawrence Ware is a philosopher of race at his day job and writes if the kids go to bed on time. He is a contributing editor of NewBlackMan (in Exile) and a frequent contributor to The Root and other publications. He has been featured in the New York Times and you can sometimes find him discussing race and politics on HuffPost Live and Public Radio International. He is the kind of Steelers fan that enjoys watching the Cowboys lose.

  • Chris James


  • Holy Room

    When your white, your right, even when wrong. #priviledgedreality

  • Wild Cougar

    White women know they can be the victim in any circumstance and never be held responsible for their behavior. They wield that power, that privilege very particular to white women and far too often it results in damage to the reputation of, assault, arrest, imprisonment or death of a Black person. That’s why I don’t trust most of them.

    • BlackMamba

      See the AA case in Texas that amounted to the woman arguing she should have gotten into the school because white skin.

      • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

        You should read the background on how that case came to be. It’s crazy.

        • Lea Thrace

          yeah. the jewish lawyer who heads up that foundation is both vile and fascinating. if you havent check out the This American Life podcast done about him

          • Mary Burrell

            This American Life Podcast keeps me informed along with NPR Code Switch about things like this. And check out Tapestry podcast with Dr. Carlos Hill and Dr. Miguel Lavarrio. They also keep me informed about the very same topics VSB talks about.

          • TheVilleintheA

            Do you know the name/date of that episode about Edward Blum?

      • We talkin’ about Abby? Because I still hope she’s mad.

        • Diego Duarte

          Didn’t she benefit from the Paula Deen effect? And isn’t she now in a position of privilege that eclipses what she would’ve achieved had she been admitted and graduated from UT in the first place?

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Let’s not forget she STILL was accepted at a very good university. It’s like complaining about not getting into Cornell but you attend Dartmouth. SMH

          • I could not be bothered to keep up with #BeckyWithTheBadGrades after the Supreme Court ruled against her.

        • RaeRae

          I live in Texas…and I can confirm she is STILL mad…and ugly, but that’s not what you were asking…as you were.

        • OG Dark Kermit

          With her Hannah montana’s brother lookin’ ahhhhhhh – that’s why she need to be mad.

          • I laughed.

          • Shanté Akheia

            I didn’t hear about this,what’s her name?

            • OG Dark Kermit

              Abigail Fisher…google the case. She’s on that b.s.

      • Mary Burrell

        “Stay Mad Abby “

    • Holy Room

      That’s why they are very comfortable describing an imaginary six ft whatever inches Blackman/thuggish looking or not who did something to them. They are not held accountable for falsifying information. I’m yet to hear of one of them going to prison as a result.
      So done, with crocodile tears and fake mental issues, That Dolo/Nkechi bish. (I know she has nothing to do with this case, but they all family)

      • NonyaB?

        Lady Ibaka?

        • Holy Room

          Yes. How can I help thee?

          • NonyaB?

            Just checking; I wasn’t sure! Forgot I could check by profile link.

            • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

              How you do that?

              ETA: what kind of receipts are you keeping.

              • NonyaB?

                If a user has set a custom acct username (vs default one set by disqus), then it shows below commenter name on their profile page and within link that appears when you hover cursor over their name in the comments section.

                I keep ALL the receipts.

                • kingpinenut

                  *makes note*

                  do not cross NonyaB – she will have your ayus

                  • NonyaB?

                    You flatter me, sir. Nonetheless, the People’s Bureau keeps an eye open, always!

    • Sigma_Since 93

      This is why missing Black and Brown women don’t get the same call to action because they don’t yield that power and privilege you mention.

      • BrownKitty289

        But they don’t hear you tho!!!!!

        • Josephinejconner

          Google is paying $97 per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !ft70c:
          On monday I got a great new mclaren f1 from having earned $12778 this last four weeks.. 3 to 5 hours of work a day… Weekly paychecks… Bonus opportunities…Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          ???? http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs360WebGeek/GetPaid$97/Hour ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????:::!ft70c:….,……..

    • woody

      So why do black men marry them at such alarming rates?Does it mean black men trust white women?

      • Wise Old Owl

        What’s the rate…because roughly 90% of Black Men are married to Black Women…nice try to switch the topic and Blame Black Men for the racist actions of white females…Do you also wonder if Black Women who “Swirl” trust white males…or are you only concerned about the dating and mating habits of Black Males…as if you own Black Male’s body…parts…

        • Monica Harris

          I’m pretty sure this troll is a white person. You don’t gotta respond to such foolishness

          • Wise Old Owl

            Yes, indeed. A white male troll..

        • you’sajoke

          They sound like one of those lipstick alley birds.

        • woody

          Give me a link showing it’s 90%
          or are you just throwing that out
          there because thats what you
          think it is.And by the way,it was
          90% back in the 70s and the
          biracial population(half black
          half white)has risen 27% since
          then in the US.And this dont
          include the other races bm and
          bw have flocked to.Jermain
          Jackson of the Jackson five son
          recently got engaged to to a
          iranian chick and they are expecting a child.And yes i do
          wonder if bw trust wm and no
          im not blaming bm for racist
          ww.You need to open your eyes
          because black people are
          getting lighter and lighter in
          case you havent noticed.I just
          hope bw dont get as deep in
          the swril thing as bm have
          because she is the keeper of
          the melinin.In 1957 Chinese
          researchers discovered that
          women of african descent have
          all the genetic make up to
          produce every race on Earth
          look it up.So no my concern
          is not bm body parts but bw.

      • rquez

        Beta males

    • tracy Smith

      White men too.

    • Cj

      This is white feminism in a nutshell.

  • Kat

    Not today.

    • Holy Room


  • Sigma_Since 93

    I will only begin to believe Mrs Shelby are the victims of a lynch mob when her clan of desperadoes begin cappin white folks with their hands up. Until then I ain’t got time for the Jerry Farwell tears.

  • Junegirl627

    Hate is a really strong word and shouldn’t be used lightly. Sometimes I hate….

    • Sigma_Since 93
      • Junegirl627

        Thanks. I’m tired today.

      • kingpinenut

        Jah bless Lord Vader and all his Sith powers

    • Duncan Frame

      Don’t waste your hate on subhumans.

    • Jae Starz

      It’s appropriate for this tho. I read this and had to actually go do some work. I felt a lot of rage building. The type of rage where it would probably be best for my alabaster coworkers to stay out of my office until AT LEAST Thursday.

      • Junegirl627

        Thats how i feel right now too. I barely talked to anybody after reading this. I purposely avoided the interview on TV last night because I knew it would be like this.

        Sometimes it feels like Emmitt Till was a tutorial or how to manual for white women instead of one of the most grossly evil act committed by a person in the history of people.

  • I saw a promo for this mess and thought “Oh, great, another reason not to watch 60 minutes.” I refused to subject myself to this nonsense on my gyatdayum day off. Thanks for taking one for the team Mr. Ware.

    • blueevey

      Totally misread promo, wooops!

  • BlackMamba

    Nope. Nope. Nope. No time for white nonsense today.

  • Minx

    This could been a two word article tbh: “Fuck her”

    • Lea Thrace

      with a rusty herpes ridden jagged spoon.

      • Holy Room

        Ummmm. How does a spoon work in this case.

        • Lea Thrace

          the jaggedness of the spoon is integral. You get lured into a false sense of security by the smooth parts, then BAM. JAGGED SHARP BITS!

          • Holy Room

            You are so deep. Me in my foolishness, I thought you were suggesting we put the spoon in her azzz, and bam she gets it.

          • Gibbous

            So, a grapefruit spoon?

      • kingpinenut

        gotdayum….. that’s some seriousness…

        how bout just an a$$edtoothbrush?

        • Lea Thrace

          why are we giving mercy when none is given to us?

          (Ugh. I clearly should not have missed church yesterday. I gotta do better)

          • kingpinenut


            I am feeling like some pulp fiction lines today….

            “But I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.”

            • Looking4Treble

              One of my favorite all time films. SLJ is the truth.

      • Mr. Mooggyy

        Welp….There you have it!

      • miss t-lee

        Rusty screwdriver

        • Mr. Mooggyy

          Only the best for when YT folks start YT’ing

          • miss t-lee


          • Mary Burrell


      • NonyaB?

        I feel you’re bringing out a milder/inappropriate tool. Please return to the toolshed to collect the rusted, AIDS-laced pitchfork marinating in battery acid.

        • Mary Burrell

          So savage i love it so much.

      • Blargg

        Hasn’t that spoon suffered enough without being associated with this woman?

    • miss t-lee


  • I wrote about this last year…. SHE IS THE WORST OF WHITE WOMEN. How she still held a job as a cop after using drugs is beyond me but ok…. every day my disdain for them grows and grows.

    • Holy Room

      Hey Negra!! How you holdin up?

    • Roids and drug use isn’t uncommon amongst police officers. They blame the stress of the job.

      • TheCollinB

        These are facts.

      • Diego Duarte

        Cops and military personnel are beyond glorified in the US. They couldn’t recognize stress if it bit them in the azz.

        • They are programmed to not be self aware.

        • IDareYou

          Are you saying no one in the military deals with stress?

          • Diego Duarte

            Honestly, I could care less whether they do or they don’t. The US military hasn’t waged a single just war in over 70 years. And after the FBI report on torture came out, I really don’t want to hear any of that nonsense. The US military butchers civilians on a regular basis and then wants to act to victim? 3/4s of the military voted for the Cheeto in Chief and wants people to be understand and make accommodations?

            No, fuck that. I want no truck with jingoism, racism and xenophobia, and the US military perfectly exemplifies all three.

            • Janelle Doe

              I really like you

            • IDareYou

              A couple of things, The military isn’t perfect we have “bad” people within the ranks like any other group. The difference is when someone messes up they get punished for the most part. People went to jail after Abu Ghraib and to my knowledge military personnel weren’t involved in the torture that went on at Gitmo.
              If you have a plan of waging war without a single civilian casualty I would love to hear it(I’m serious). The military is a tool that whoever is in charge can use how they see fit, so blame the politicians who send soldiers to war but don’t blame soldiers for fighting in them. I’m also not trying to excuse bad behavior, any soldier that commits a crime needs to be punished accordingly.

              • Diego Duarte

                Excuse me?

                This isn’t about “bad apples”. The US military is notoriously racist, xenophobic, misogynist and jingoistic. The institution itself needs some serious fucking reform. It goes beyond “I was following orders” and at any rate that was ruled not to be a valid excuse in the Nuremberg trials.

                This whole “notallmilitarymen” reeks of the same bullsh*t as #NotAllWhites when someone attempts to bring up White Supremacy.

                • IDareYou

                  No I’m just saying this isn’t the same military from even 15 years ago. All jobs are open to women, LGBT soldiers are welcome. Assaults are being treated more appropriately now. I just feel we get none of the credit of actually improving.

                • black-a-rican

                  11 out of the 12 in those murders were convicted of crimes involving those homicides in the article you posted.

              • Diego Duarte

                Also bull-fucking-sh*t:


                I’ve read instance of that report, precisely testimonials from soldiers who narrated how military personnel carried out torture on Iraqi civilians, including rape.

                • IDareYou

                  I never said War Crimes never happened, just the military usually punishes those responsible.

                • black-a-rican

                  CIA is not military. They were the ones doing the interrogations.

          • Gibbous

            As a person who served in the USAR, I agree. The number of people who thank me for my service without knowing what my service was is silly. My service was just a job. I was never deployed and I reaped numerous civilian benefits, the GI bill being the primary reason I enlisted. Very few people who are not familiar with the military understand that and try to ascribe some kind of mythological sacrifice to what was anything but. It was just a job, like many others.

            Had I been deployed, I would have continued to do my job, but as it is, I basically practiced being a medic in the deepest snow we could find (Ft. Drum, NY) one weekend a month and went to college like a civilian.

            • Monica Harris

              I appreciate your honesty. It’s not the fault of persons in the military that the culture of hero worship exists. It serves the interest of powerful people that we view it this way. I really like what you said about it just being a job. So many things are just jobs. Teachers, doctors, lawyers..Etc
              We put these professions on pedestals, but people are out here just trying to live. If you make an honest living, you deserve respect, not a pedestal. I hope I haven’t misconstrued what you were saying.

              • Gibbous

                Nope, not at all.

        • Monica Harris

          The hero worship of cops/military in this country is out of control.

      • Junegirl627

        there is a drug abuse protocol with NYPD. You can be high on the job, you just can’t lie about it if confronted or you will lose your job. If you are confronted all you have to say is that you are addicted and its a disease and you get automatic 30 day intreatment rehab at the taxpayers expense.

        Meanwhile there are certain task forces within NYPD and Corrections where you are encouraged to work out for hours bulk up and train in specialized fighting.

        • I_AmU

          This is no lie.

      • It’s not uncommon but fukk that.. they ARREST MFERS for the same thing.. ain’t that rich?

      • Lady Legasus

        Back in the day when I was a reckless youth, I got the best pot and coke from cops that wanted to be more than friends. in fact one actually told me that he pocketed the weed when left alone with it after a huge bust. And it was good!

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