TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An unarmed Oklahoma man shot dead by a police officer after his car broke down on a city street last month had the hallucinogenic drug PCP in his system when he died, a medical examiner said Tuesday.
Terence Crutcher, 40, had “acute phencyclidine intoxication” when he died Sept. 16. Officer Betty Jo Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter after his death, with a prosecutor saying she reacted unreasonably when Crutcher disobeyed her commands.
Medical literature says PCP, also known as Angel Dust, can induce euphoria and feelings of omnipotence, and also notes that it can lead to “combativeness-agitation,” mania and depression. Video from the incident shows Crutcher walking away from Shelby and other officers as they confronted him in fading light on a North Tulsa street.
According to an eight-page report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Oklahoma City, Crutcher suffered a “penetrating gunshot wound of chest” and noted both of Crutcher’s lungs were pierced and that he had four broken ribs. In addition to saying Crutcher was high, it said he was obese and had too much cholesterol in his gallbladder. The examiner recovered a bullet fragment from Crutcher’s left chest.
Shelby’s lawyer, Scott Wood, said Shelby was so focused on Crutcher that she didn’t hear other officers near her before she fired her service weapon. Almost simultaneously, another officer fired a Taser at Crutcher as he moved toward his SUV.
Shelby, 42, has pleaded not guilty. She faces between four years to life in prison if convicted.
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