An Oklahoman and ex-Tulsa Police officer who made news after shooting a black man is no longer on the force, but is now teaching a course on how to “survive” in the aftermath of a police-related shooting.
Former Tulsa PD officer Betty Shelby reportedly now works for the nearby Rogers County Sheriff’s Office, and recently returned to Tulsa in order to teach police officers how to “survive” controversial shootings, such as the one she was involved in.
Called “Surviving the Aftermath of a Critical Incident,” the Oklahoma law enforcement continuing education course is geared towards handling a critical incident, such as an officer-involved shooting.
“This course will describe some of the challenges in dealing with the aftermath of a critical incident such as an Officer involved shooting,” the description reads on the Oklahoma.gov website. Participants will be exposed to many of the legal, financial, physical, and emotional challenges which may result from a critical incident in an effort to prepare LEO’s for the aftermath.”
The class is free, and accounts for four hours of continued education hours, including two hours specified towards mental health.
According to KJRH, black activist groups in the Tulsa area are not thrilled with Shelby’s return, largely due to her involvement of the 2016 police shooting of Terence Crutcher.
Crutcher was shot after refusing to stop advancing and show his hands during a traffic stop, advancing on the officers shortly before Shelby was forced to open fire. PCP was later found both in his bloodstream and in his vehicle, giving weight to Shelby’s suspicions at the time that Crutcher was acting aggressively under the influence.
Despite being cleared of any charges, Shelby remains unwelcome to many in Tulsa.
“It’s just sad for them to use a person as polarizing as Betty Shelby to, in fact, teach a critical incident class,” local pastor Rodney Goss told KJRH, an affiliate of CNN. “We know that the reality is she was the aggressor and that Terence Crutcher was the victim.”
Protests have sprung up, decrying the classes as insensitive.
For Shelby’s new employer, Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton, the class is important for officers.
“It’s not about tactics. It’s not about when to shoot, when not to shoot. It’s about what she endured, what her family went through for the next eight months after her critical incident,” he said.
Despite protests, the classes were not canceled.
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