Dash cam video released by the Tulsa Police Department on Monday showed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher with his hands above his head moments before he was shot and killed by one of the officers at the scene. At a press conference on Monday, Chief Chuck Jordan explained that the video was “very disturbing – very difficult to watch.” The officer who pulled the trigger was later identified as Betty Shelby. She was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
Chief Jordan made several interviews following the press conference, one of which was with ABC News. Asked whether there was any possibility that officer Shelby reacted prematurely and practically assassinated the man in cold blood, the Chief attempted to deflect the question by stating that the suspect, Crutcher, “appeared to have had black intentions,” which was, according to him, the reason why he was pulled over in the first place.
“I’m not at liberty to reveal any details pertaining to the case because of the on-going investigation, but I can tell you that the reason why the suspect was pulled over was because he displayed black behavior and was endangering other, white motorists in traffic,” Chief Jordan told ABC News. “And it is against Oklahoma state law to openly display such behavior while on the open road.”
Asked to elaborate further on the so-called “black behavior and intentions,” the Chief stated that it encapsulates “any type of anti-law enforcement, violence-supporting, pro-Obama behavior” that black people tend to openly display. He also added that the term was coined by police officers on the field as a joke that caught on among other members of the Tulsa Police Department. “We warned them that it might be considered offensive, but they found it more convenient than the usual terminology. And as for me, well, I always have to side with my men, that’s what Chiefs do,” Jordan said.
“In fact,” he added, “according to reports from other officers on the scene, the suspect’s car even had a bumper sticker in the form of President Barack Obama, with the words, ‘If they can’t put up with us, white folks should go back to Europe!’ I can’t speak on officer Shelby’s behalf, but I’m sure it wasn’t nice to pull over a suspect and then see such an offensive display of racial oppression against white people. Now, I’m not attempting to justify her actions, not at all; I’m just saying, you know, that kind of thing gets to you.”
“What troubles me personally is that black intentions and black behavior are nation-wide issues, they’re not exclusive to the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “Yet, when one of our own makes a mistake, it looks as though she stands to get crucified just because she’s white. Now, I’m not calling out anybody out here, but how is it that this is happening when it’s black people who are screaming off the top of their lungs about how they’re the ones being oppressed? This will not end well, for either race,” Chief Jordan concluded.