Officer Betty Shelby
TULSA, Okla. — Prosecutors opened the manslaughter trial on Wednesday of a white Tulsa police officer by recounting the events of a day when she shot an unarmed black motorist, seeking a conviction in a case that fanned concerns of possible racial bias in U.S. policing.
The defense for officer Betty Shelby, 43, said in their opening statements before the jury of 12, which includes two black women, that prosecutors carelessly rushed to bring charges for the September 2016 death of Terence Crutcher, who was 40.
If convicted, Shelby could face from four years to life in prison.
Police videos of the incident were seen globally, with some civil rights advocates arguing race was a factor in the fatal shooting, something Shelby has denied.
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