By Frederick H Lowe
Betty Jo Shelby, who shot to death an unarmed man, is going to school, and Roy Oliver who shot to death an unarmed teenager, is going to prison.
The news concerning Shelby, a former police officer with the Tulsa Police Department, and Roy Oliver, 38, a former patrolman with the Balch Springs Police Department, near Dallas, broke around the same time this week reporting very different outcomes.
A jury in Dallas on Tuesday found Oliver guilty in the April 2017 shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards.
Edwards’ friends and relatives shouted, “thank you, Jesus,” when the jury left the courtroom. Odell Edwards, Jordan’s father, said he wanted to jump up and down when heard the guilty verdict.
However, Oliver’s wife, Ingrid, cried and ran from the courtroom. Oliver was taken into custody and his bail was revoked.
Oliver fired into a car carrying teenagers, killing Jordan Edwards. He testified
that he fired at the car because he feared for his life and the life of partner, but his partner testified he never felt threatened. Oliver had testified that the car moved in the direction of his partner. Edwards and the other boys in the car were riding home together after attending a party at a friend’s home. A neighbor had contacted police to report suspected underage drinking. There was no alcohol found at the party.
Shelby who is now a police officer with the Rogers County Sheriff’s Department, announced yesterday that she will teach a state-funded course titled “Surviving the Aftermath of a Critical Incident.” While with the Tulsa Police Department, Shelby shot to death Terence Crutcher, 40, in 2016. Crutcher’s SUV had broken down, and he was waiting for police to provide him with assistance.
Instead, Shelby shot him to death after claiming she thought he was reaching inside his vehicle for a gun. No gun was found.
Last year, a jury acquitted Shelby of first-degree manslaughter. After being acquitted, she collected $36,000 in backpay. Shelby resigned from the Tulsa Police Department, joining the Rogers County Sheriff’s Department. A Oklahoma district judge also ordered Shelby’s record expunged in the deadly shooting of Crutcher.
She said, “my class will help others by sharing some of the same skills I used to cope with stress of my critical incident.”
Crutcher’s relatives said Shelby is being rewarded while Crutcher’s children are still suffering because of the loss of their father.