Jurors in Tulsa, Oklahoma acquitted Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby in the September 2016 shooting of Terence Crutcher. Crutcher, a 40-year old unarmed black man, was shot while standing beside his SUV after a traffic stop. The trial came to a conclusion on May 17, 2017.

Officer Shelby indicated she believed Crutcher was reaching for a gun inside his car when she fired out of fear, killing him. She was charged with first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death, but will now walk free having been acquitted of any wrongdoing in the death. Shelby was charged only six days following the shooting.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiller wrote in the affidavit that she was "becoming emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted."

A white police officer -- a dead African American

The scene was captured via police cameras on September 16th of last year. In the video, Shelby fired a single round into the deceased man's chest while he was standing beside his vehicle.

The incident did not spark the level of outrage that has been mounting across the United States due to police killings of unarmed African Americans, but it did add to the growing list of incidents drawing criticism upon the nation's law enforcement community.

In her defense, attorney Shannon McMurray argued that charged were brought against Shelby solely to avoid civil unrest in and around Tulsa.

Only four days following the Crutcher shooting, police in Charlotte, North Carolina killed 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, which sparked protests across the city. McMurray's arguments appear to have swayed the jury into considering Shelby's testimony as to her reasons for firing at Mr. Crutcher.

Afraid for her life

In her sworn testimony given on May 15, in court, Officer Shelby said, "I fired my gun at Mr.

Crutcher because I was fearing for my life.” She further testified that he was behaving erratically and was ignoring her commands. The video showed that Mr. Crutcher was acting strangely when confronted by Officer Shelby.

He can be seen walking away from her while she commanded him to get on the ground though he was holding his hands above his head.

Further testimony indicated that Officer Shelby was concerned he may have been under the influence of PCB, a powerful hallucinogenic drug known as Angel Dust, which has been involved in violent police clashes in the past.

It was later revealed via autopsy that Mr. Crutcher was under the influence of PCP at the time. This may have been considered by the jury when they voted to acquit Officer Shelby of the first-degree manslaughter though it has placed blame on the deceased.

Crutcher's twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher, described the testimony as nauseating. She provided the following statement, “We felt that Terence, someone who can’t speak for himself, was on trial and she was a victim.”