Expert: Police shooting videos don't tell the whole story

The image of Terrence Crutcher walking with his hands up moments before he was fatally shot by Tulsa Police is haunting.

The image of Terrence Crutcher walking with his hands up moments before he was fatally shot by Tulsa police is haunting.

Most observers say the video shows Crutcher was cooperating with police before he was killed.

But one legal expert says that image shows something else that isn't being discussed.

"It's very unlikely that she told him to 'put your hands up, turn around and walk to your car,' because who knows what's in that car," said 11Alive legal analyst Phil Holloway, himself a former police officer.

"That's not what police are trained to do," Holloway said. "So when her lawyer says that (Crutcher) wasn't following commands, that rings true to me."

In the wake of two controversial and deadly police shootings, in Tulsa and Charlotte, two emerging narratives are beginning to form.

Holloway says the videos don't paint the whole picture. Instead, he says a thorough investigation is needed.

Holloway says investigators will speak to all of the officers on scene that day to find out, among other things, why only one officer fired her gun.

"It appears that this was an error in judgment at a minimum and probably an unnecessary use of force. Whether that rises to the level of being a crime depends on the results of a thorough and complete investigation," Holloway said.

In Charlotte, dashcam videos of the deadly shooting haven't been released.

Police there were serving a search warrant for another man, when they say they encountered 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, who police say was armed.

Scott's family says he was reading a book in his car, waiting for his son to get home from school. Police say no book was found at the scene but that they did recover a gun.

In both Tulsa and Charlotte, it appears neither man was a suspect.

"When the police encountered the individuals who later died they weren't sure what they had on their hands. They had to make a split-second decision. It might have been the wrong one, but they had to make a decision based on what they had at the time," said Holloway.

 


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