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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.

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.

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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.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Fox News reporter and right-wing conspiracy theorists planned to wiretap family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich: report

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The Daily Beast on Monday evening broke a bombshell report on a secret 2017 meeting in Texas on a right-wing conspiracy theory where espionage was discussed.

"One of their topics was responding to online critics of wealthy Texas businessman Ed Butowsky, who had recently been outed as a driving force behind a retracted Fox News story about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich," The Beast reported. "The group that gathered at Butowsky’s home included a conspiracy theorist, a Fox reporter fighting for her career, a former private intelligence contractor married to star journalist Lara Logan, and a Democratic PR operative who lost his business in the face of sexual assault allegations."

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Congress still has one big tool left to rein in Trump’s corruption: Oversight Committee Democrat

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Senate Republicans may have managed to quash the impeachment trial without calling forth any new witnesses or seriously considering the evidence against President Donald Trump. And the president may feel vindicated and largely invulnerable as a result.

But, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday, that doesn't mean Democrats don't have one last big play to rein in the president's abuses of power. They can use the first and strongest authority delegated to them: the power of the purse.

"What can Democrats really do when it comes to oversight of the president?" asked Cooper. "I mean, now that impeachment is over, does seem like there are fewer and fewer guardrails, if any."

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