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Betty Shelby’s record is clean because ‘blue lives matter’

Betty Shelby, the ex-Tulsa police officer who killed an unarmed Black man named Terence Crutcher, 40, in September 2016 was charged with first degree manslaughter and found not guilty in May of his year. Wednesday, a judge went even further and expunged Shelby’s record, sealing all court documents and erasing the incident in the eyes of the law. In a country where police kill a lot of people and almost never face discipline, much less indictment, it is not surprising that officers can walk away and pretend they didn’t do what we all know they did. Their collective bargaining agreements are supposed to ensure due process and fair treatment of their workers, not deny citizens their dignity and their rights. Until those impacted by police violence have the power to regulate bad apples and rein them in, nothing will change, and the bodies of Black folk like Terence Crutcher will continue to litter the streets like roadkill.

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