When Oklahoma Police Officer Betty Shelby first encountered Terence Crutcher in the middle of a Tulsa road, she said he was behaving strangely, as if he were on phencyclidine, more commonly known as PCP.
The toxicology report is in, and it proves that Officer Shelby's suspicion was accurate. Terence Crutcher was on PCP at the time of the shooting.
CNN reports that, according to Officer Shelby, Crutcher was non-compliant and not answering her questions about why his vehicle was in the middle of the road. Ignoring her inquiries about the vehicle, he "walk[ed] toward the back of the police cruiser and [put] his hands back in his pockets..."
Shelby then drew her gun, and told Crutcher to get on his knees. Instead, he began to walk to his vehicle with his hands in the air. From this point forward, the video tells the story:
Officer Shelby said she believed Crutcher was reaching into the driver's side window of his vehicle when she fired her weapon. In the video footage, it is difficult to tell if Crutcher was moving his hand down as if to grab something.
The autopsy of Crutcher found that he had a large amount of PCP in his system, definitely enough to make him act in an unpredictable and dangerous manner.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
"Dr. Matthew Lee, a physician and pharmacist who also works for the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's Office, said the 96 nanograms per milliliter of PCP found in Crutcher's system is more than enough to cause someone to be uncoordinated, agitated and combative."
As the Daily Wire previously noted, PCP can have an analgesic effect, making users uncommonly impervious to use of force. As a trained dug expert, Shelby may have been more prone to draw her firearm if she perceived Crutcher to be on PCP, despite her having a Taser on her person.
Erik MacLaren, PhD, notes:
"While using PCP, people may misinterpret and distort calm situations as confrontational and respond with violence, and since they are perceiving pain inaccurately, the violence could end with serious physical injuries."
Despite the fact that evidence was still being assessed, and an autopsy had not yet been conducted, it was announced September 22 that Officer Shelby had been charged with felony manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher.
Shelby's second attorney, Shannon McMurray, held a press conference Tuesday in which she said the toxicology report "corroborates that Officer Shelby was correct in her assessment when she identified and recognized that he was, in her mind, intoxicated."
When a reporter asked if that was "enough reason for her to feel threatened...to pull for her weapon?" McMurray simply replied, "Yes."
The Crutcher family attorney, Damario Solomon-Simmons, released a statement Tuesday, in which he said that the "toxicology report does not change the most pertinent facts of this tragedy: Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher who was, unarmed and had his hands up, without provocation or justification and she should be held accountable for her unlawful actions."
Whether or not this new evidence changes the trajectory of the case remains to be seen. You can watch McMurray's full press conference here.