Police

Ex-police sergeant schools CNN’s pro-cop pundit: ‘You can’t just kill people whenever you’re scared’

This Tuesday, CNN’s chief cop apologist Harry Houck took a vaguely reasonable approach to the video showing Terence Crutcher’s shooting death at the hands of Tulsa police, saying he didn’t “have enough evidence” to make a judgment if the indictment of Officer Betty Shelby was warranted.

“I don’t know yet, because I don’t know enough evidence regarding this case,” he said. “If I do a further analysis, when more comes out on the case I’ll take a look at it and I’ll make my own decision based on that. But right now we don’t know enough.”

But according to Houck’s co-panelist and ex-police sergeant Cheryl Dorsey, Shelby was probably charged with manslaughter because she “took herself from a position of cover and concealment, she walked up on someone who she said was scaring her more than she’s ever been scared in her entire life [and] created a situation where now deadly force had to be used.”

Dorsey referred to Shelby’s tactics leading up to the shooting as “deplorable.”

Dorsey then brought up Shelby’s explanation that she was “fearful” of Crutcher – a statement the officer gave to investigators but never really elaborated on.

“What was it? If you were in fear, why are you running up on him?” Dorsey said. “You don’t just get to say, ‘I’m in fear,’ and now olly olly oxen free — you get to kill somebody. Someone failing to comply does not require lethal force.”

“There’s nothing wrong with a police officer being scared for their life,” Houck countered. “I’ve been scared many times, and that’s where this thing called courage comes in. We’re supposed to have courage as police officers.”

But when CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Houck what he’d have done differently, he didn’t have much of an answer.

“I don’t know, because I wasn’t right there,” Houck said. “All I know is that that man kept going towards the car and I told him to stop, stop, stop — and he did not stop. And when we got around to the car and it looked like he was reaching into the window for something, was making a furtive move, I don’t know what I would have done, okay?”

The most notable part of the exchange was Dorsey’s contention that Officer Shelby had cleared Crutcher’s car for weapons beforehand, a claim that I haven’t able to confirm:

“We now know for a fact — she’d already cleared the car,” Dorsey said. “That means she rendered it safe, that means that there was nothing in that vehicle that was going to hurt her.”

“That’s police jargon for, ‘I walked up to it as a police officer, I’ve looked in, there’s nothing that’s going to hurt me if you get back in that car,’” Dorsey added.

Watch the full segment in the video below:

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