Family of man killed in officer-involved shooting calls for charges against officer

The family of Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old Oklahoma man who was shot and killed Friday by police, is calling for charges against the officer who shot him.

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Crutcher, who was unarmed, was approached by police after his car stalled near an intersection. Police said that when they arrived, the vehicle was blocking traffic.

Crutcher's family said his SUV stalled in the middle of the road as he was heading home from class at a local community college. Tulsa police said that when officers arrived, Crutcher approached them and failed to obey commands.

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Officer Tyler Turnbough deployed a Taser, and Officer Betty Shelby fired her gun at Crutcher, killing him.

"We have all seen the ... video. It is extremely disturbing. We could not sleep last night, and without a doubt we believe this was an unjustified shooting that should not have occurred," Damario Solomon-Simmons, an attorney and family friend, said Monday at a news conference. "What we saw in the video -- we saw that Terence did not have a weapon. We saw that Terence did not make any sudden movements. We saw that Terence was not being belligerent. We did not see Terence reach into the car. We did not see Terence attacking the officers."

Attorney Melvin CHall said that in cases in which a person is fleeing from the law, "the police can use lethal force." 

"Not applicable in this case," Hall said. "He was having some difficulty with his vehicle, and that's it."

"When Terence was shot, he was away from the officers. They were at a safe distance," Solomon-Simmons said.

Crutcher's twin sister, Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, also spoke at the news conference.

"We're truly devastated. The entire family is devastated," she said. "We're demanding, today, immediately, that charges are pressed against this officer that was incompetent that took my brother's life."

Tiffany Crutcher described her brother as a father, a son, a college student and a lover of God, who "was at church singing with all of his flaws every week."

Crutcher called Shelby's action negligent, insensitive and incompetent.

Terence and Tiffany Crutcher celebrated their 40th birthday on Aug. 16.

Crutcher asked that if protests erupt in the wake of her brother's death, they be peaceful. 

"When the video is officially released ... on behalf of the family, we're requesting -- because it is quite disturbing ... we're requesting that there be peaceful protests. ... Respect the culture of our family because we operate and we flow in love and peace," she said. "Just know that our voices will be heard. Let's protest. Let's do what we have to do, but let's just make sure we do it peacefully to respect the culture of our family."

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