Betty Shelby, the officer acquitted of the 2016 fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, now has no trace of the incident on her employment record thanks to a district judge.
This week, Judge William LaFortun expunged Shelby’s record and also ordered that all documents relating to the case remain sealed, excluding government and law officials who have the clearance to access the information.
The decision comes after Shelby’s August petition to have the record expunged, due to her acquittal in May.
Agencies won’t be able to find the incident during a background search, but Shelby would be required to disclose it on a job application.
Oklahoma state law mandates that the record would only be accessible to a lay person through a court order and can be destroyed after 10 years, NBC Washington reports.
Shelby was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter in the September 2016 shooting where she opened fire on Crutcher, a Black unarmed motorist, while he stood with his hands up in the middle of the street.
Shelby was reduced to an administrative role after the shooting, but later resigned from the Tulsa Police Department in July. In August she was sworn in as a reserve sheriff’s deputy in nearby Rogers County.
Incredulously, Shelby’s lawyer, Shannon McMurray said it was important t for Shelby “to have that smear on her name removed from public view,”
But what about the Crutcher family? Was the existence of his Black life not valuable enough that it was struck out with the firing of several shots?
This case is a prime example of the justice system’s incessant legacy of failure when it comes to cases involving men and women of color.
SOURCE: NBC Washington