The medical examiner and toxicology reports for Terence Crutcher were released today, and the report has shown that on the day Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed the unarmed black man, he was under the influence of PCP. The officer is currently on trial for Crutcher’s death and faces charges of first degree manslaughter for which she has entered a plea of not guilty.
The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that the cause of death for Terence Crutcher was a gunshot wound to the chest. The autopsy showed that the bullet which killed the man on September 16 entered the body through the right side of his chest and did not exit. It was also found that Crutcher also had a one-inch cut on the left side of his head along with some scrapes on his left leg that were said to be four-inches long.
When footage of the white police officer shooting the unarmed black man as he stood with his hands in the air beside his stalled vehicle was released, it caused outrage and several protests were started by the Black Lives Matter movement.
The toxicology report came back showing that Crutcher had tested positive for Phencyclidine, also known as PCP, and also for the hallucinogenic drug called Tenocyclidine. The police had reported previously that on the night the officer shot and killed the unarmed black man, they had recovered a vial of PCP, also known as angel dust or embalming fluid, in Terence Crutcher’s SUV.
The Inquisitr wrote that District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler had previously been adamant that manslaughter was the best charge against the officer and today, he stated that the toxicology report findings of PCP is not something which surprises the department.
“My analysis of the case contemplated and anticipated that Mr. Crutcher would have a positive test result for some type of substance in his system to include PCP.”
According to Fox 23 Shannon McMurray, the lawyer for Betty Shelby, has been quoted from a statement that was released after the toxicology report confirmed PCP. Officer Shelby had long claimed that on the night of the shooting, she had suspected that Terence Crutcher had been on PCP.
“I am confident that the evidence will show that Officer Shelby was justified is discharging her weapon.”
Some news reports are also directing readers to the side-effects of the drug PCP as to indicate the reasons why the police officer could have possibly been afraid of the actions of a man who “looks like a bad dude.” The Drug Enforcement Administration advises that PCP causes most of its users to experience “auditory hallucinations and severe mood disorders.” The drug can also cause “acute anxiety, paranoia and hostility, as well as psychosis.” 23ABC News also indicated that PCP has also been known to induce euphoria and feelings of omnipotence.
However, it can be argued that this discovery should have zero effect on the prosecution’s case against the police officer for shooting and killing an unarmed man. There are many arguments that news reports in most cases about officers shooting and killing unarmed men and women of color seem to actively promote a narrative that the deceased somehow called their death on themselves when their actions made a trained police officer suspicious and “afraid” enough to kill.
Toxicology tests on body of Terence Crutcher show he had PCP in his system when he was shot & killed by Tulsa Ofcr Betty Shelby. Info at 5! pic.twitter.com/9oHxK6dcFR— Craig Day (@CraigDay6) October 11, 2016
Once news of the autopsy reports was relayed to Crutcher’s twin sister Tiffany, she argued that the finding is “irrelevant to the case.” She told the media that even if the toxicology report showed that Crutcher was on PCP, that information was not discovered about her brother until after “he was shot and murdered.” She states that a person having drugs is no justification for the amount of force used.
Shelby’s claims that she suspected Terence Crutcher was on PCP is expected to foster the belief that the officer, therefore, found his actions that day to be so unpredictable and threatening that she began to “fear” for her life. She fired one single, fatal gunshot.
Officer Shelby has been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.
[Featured Image by Sue Ogrocki/AP Images]