Now, despite toying with attending law school for years, I have no legal training whatsoever.
But even I can Google shit that clues me in to the meaning of certain terms, legal terms especially, as I did when I read that officer Betty Shelby, the Tulsa, Oklahoma police officer that callously and ridiculously gunned down Terence Crutcher, a man whose car had stalled in the middle of the road (what kind of cops approach a man with car trouble with their guns drawn???) will be charged with first degree manslaughter.
I knew that didn’t sound right.
Here, through Wikipedia, is a list of the murder charges and what they mean:
- First-degree murder: any intentional murder that is willful and premeditated with malice aforethought. Felony murder is typically first-degree.
- Second-degree murder: any intentional murder with malice aforethought, but is not premeditated or planned.
- Voluntary manslaughter: (also referred to as third-degree murder), sometimes called a crime of passion murder, is any intentional killing that involves no prior intent to kill, and which was committed under such circumstances that would “cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed”. Both this and second-degree murder are committed on the spot under a spur-of-the-moment choice, but the two differ in the magnitude of the circumstances surrounding the crime. For example, a bar fight that results in death would ordinarily constitute second-degree murder. If that same bar fight stemmed from a discovery of infidelity, however, it may be mitigated to voluntary manslaughter.
- Involuntary manslaughter: (sometimes referred to as fourth-degree murder), a killing that stems from a lack of intention to cause death but involving an intentional, or negligent, act leading to death. A drunk driving-related death is typically involuntary manslaughter (see also vehicular homicide, causing death by dangerous driving, gross negligence manslaughter and causing death by criminal negligence for international equivalents). Note that the “unintentional” element here refers to the lack of intent to bring about the death. All three crimes above feature an intent to kill, whereas involuntary manslaughter is “unintentional”, because the killer did not intend for a death to result from their intentional actions. If there is a presence of intention it relates only to the intent to cause a violent act which brings about the death, but not an intention to bring about the death itself.
If you read them all, then you know why Involuntary manslaughter is actually the right charge.
If nothing else, Officer Shelby’s actions are negligent all the way.
There’s absolutely no way they’ll be able to convict on a first degree rap if solely due to the fact that she only fired her weapon once.
Shooting one time could be anything. It could be a slip, it could be a precaution, it could be a mistake. What it can’t be, unless it’s done from inches away and then into the heart or brain, is first degree murder.
This was a set-up charge they gave us, brothers and sisters.
Some shit to make us think that the wheels of justice were turning when them shits had been stopped (and rigged) since long before the likes of a Betty Shelby put on a police uniform.
As with George Zimmerman‘s situation, the prosecution pushed for the wrong charge – probably deliberately in that case as well – and therefore couldn’t have been surprised nor disappointed when the results came back without a conviction.
Expect the same in Shelby’s case.
There’s no other possible outcome.
Also, wish there was audio to the video. Something tells me there are lies about what Mr. Crutcher was allegedly “instructed” to do.