A Tulsa Police Department official has confirmed that PCP was found in the car of Terence Crutcher on the night he was shot. The attorney for Betty Shelby, the officer who shot Crutcher, said she suspected he might be under the influence of something.
Homicide Sgt. Dave Walker, who confirmed that a vial of PCP was found, declined to say where in the vehicle investigators recovered it, nor did he say whether officers determined that Crutcher, 40, had used it Friday evening.
The Medical Examiner’s Office is expected to provide toxicology information as part of a larger autopsy report.
Crutcher was shot in the upper right part of his chest and was unarmed, police have said.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney speaking for the Crutcher family, said, “If we started to condemn everybody to death who might have some drugs in their system, all our neighborhoods would be affected. And so we know that’s not correct.”
“Let us not be thrown a red herring and to say because something was found in the car that is justification to shoot him,” Crump said.
Officer Shelby came upon Crutcher while she was en route to another call. Police released two 911 calls that reported an SUV had been abandoned in the middle of the street, and one anonymous caller said they saw a man who might be “smoking something.”
Attorney Scott Wood, who represents Shelby, told the World previously that his client believed that Crutcher was under the influence of PCP, based on things she learned during drug-recognition expert training. Helicopter camera footage also showed that an unidentified officer said Crutcher “looked like a bad dude” who “could be on something” shortly before he hit the ground.
Following the shooting incident and media coverage, it was revealed that Crutcher had a criminal record that includes more than one dozen encounters with police. In at least four of those cases, the police had to use force with Crutcher. One situation in 2012 involved Crutcher getting arrested for public intoxication, and in a probable cause affidavit Crutcher’s father told law enforcement his son had a problem with PCP.