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Oklahoma jury that acquitted Tulsa officer says she had non-deadly options

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The Oklahoma jury that acquitted a white officer for fatally shooting an unarmed black man believed race was not a factor in the incident and the officer acted according to training but had non-deadly options available, according to court papers released on Friday.

Officer Betty Shelby, 43, was found not guilty on Wednesday of manslaughter by a Tulsa jury after a week-long trial for killing Terence Crutcher, 40, in September 2016. The roadside incident was captured on widely seen police video and stirred tensions over racial bias in policing.

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“While Officer Shelby made a justifiable decision at the very moment she pulled the trigger according to her training, when reviewing the moments before she discharged her weapon, the jury wonders and some believe that she had other options available to subdue Mr. Crutcher before he reached his car,” the jury foreperson said in a letter to court.

The Crutcher case was one of a string of deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of the police in the United States that spawned periodic protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The four-page letter filed last Friday with the Tulsa County District Court Clerk’s Office was given to Judge Doug Drummond on Wednesday during deliberations, with the initial request that it be read aloud when the verdict had been rendered. After the request was denied, it was included in the court record.

“The jury could not, beyond a reasonable doubt, conclude that she did anything outside of her duties and training as a police officer in that situation. This was critical to the verdict rendered,” the letter said.

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Shelby told the jury she believed Crutcher may have been reaching into the vehicle through a partially open window in search of a weapon. She said she was taught during training that if a suspect reaches into a car, an officer does not let the person pull their arm back because he or she might be holding a gun.

Shelby will be returning to police duties after more than six months on administrative leave, but will not be on patrol, Tulsa police said on Friday.

On Thursday, attorneys for the Crutcher family said they planned to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Tulsa. Crutcher’s twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher, said police should never allow Shelby back on the street with a gun.

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(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Trump campaign mocked after unveiling new red hats: ‘Do you have arm bands as well?’

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President Donald Trump's 2016 "Make America Great Again" hats have been replaced with new "Keep America Great" hats.

Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale modeled one of the hats on Twitter.

Here is some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/LazarusLeBaron/status/1165430924093165568

Here I made an arm band design for you pic.twitter.com/inTyqVi2wo

— Christopher Goodwin (@LazarusLeBaron) August 25, 2019

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‘This will not end well’: Far-right extremism expert warns of Trump’s intensifying authoritarianism

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An expert on the far-right in America warned of President Donald Trump's "genuinely dangerous levels" of authoritarianism on Saturday.

Author David Neiwert posted a long Twitter thread on the commander-in-chief's "Social Dominance Orientation" -- and warned it will not end well.

Neiwert is the author of the 2017 book Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump.

Here is the thread he posted:

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165428067138846720

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165428524808724480

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165429018486702081

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2020 Election

‘The Mooch’ attended Biden fundraiser in the Hamptons — because Trump ‘has lost his mind’

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Former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci attended a fundraiser for former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday.

CBS News reporter Ben Mitchell posted a photo of Scaramucci at the event, and subsequently interviewed "The Mooch."

Scaramucci said he was still a registered Republican, but added that Trump "has lost his mind."

Spotted at a Biden event in the Hamptons: Fmr. Trump WH Comms Director Anthony @Scaramucci pic.twitter.com/PWVTZ8Qm15

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