Terence Crutcher‘s twin sister Tiffany Crutcher passionately provided the voice that her brother no longer can.
“That big bad dude? His life mattered. His life mattered,” Tiffany said in an emotional news conference surrounded by family on September 19 after videos were released by Tulsa police showing the moment an officer shot and killed Terence, 40. A video from a helicopter overhead captured an officer referring to Crutcher as a “big bad dude,” a comment that has become the center point in a rallying cry for justice in his case online.
Crutcher is an African-American man who was shot by Tulsa, Oklahoma police after his SUV broke down along the side of the road, according to The Washington Post.
On September 22, the Tulsa District Attorney filed criminal charges against Betty Shelby, the police officer who shot and killed Crutcher. You can read the charging documents here.
Crutcher’s death had generated outrage and calls for prosecution of Shelby, the police officer who fired the fatal shot at close range. The police chief has said the officers contended Crutcher wasn’t cooperating; they did not find a gun.
However, according to Tulsa World, video footage from an officer’s patrol car “shows Crutcher walking to his vehicle with his hands raised and that Shelby had her gun pointed at his back.”
Crutcher left behind a large family that loved him.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Crutcher Was the Father to Four Children & Attending Music Class in College
Crutcher frequently posted photos on Facebook with his children and other family members. “He look just like you,” a friend commented on the above photo that Crutcher posted on Facebook in 2014 with a child. Another friend added, “like father, like son.”
The photos that Crutcher posted generally show him with family or posing in suits. Some show him in church. He captioned one photo “kinfolk,” and that large family has rallied after his death to demand justice.
On Facebook, Crutcher wrote that he was single, lived in Tulsa, studied at Tulsa Community College, and went to Tulsa Central High, Home Of The Braves.
According to The Washington Post, Crutcher had four children and was “enrolled in a music appreciation class” at a local college.
2. Crutcher’s Sister Says His Entire Family Is ‘Devastated’
Crutcher’s twin sister, Tiffany, said that his life mattered in a news conference after body camera video was released on September 19.
“After watching the video and seeing what actually happened,” Tiffany said. “We asked for facts. We asked for answers, and we clearly got it through the video and we are truly devastated. The entire family is devastated. And, you all want to know who that big bad dude was.”
She continued: “That big bad dude was my twin brother. That big bad dude was a father. That big bad dude was a son. That big bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College just wanting to make us proud. That big bad dude loved God. That big bad dude was at church singing with all of his flaws every week. That big bad dude – that’s who he was.”
Tiffany Crutcher is a doctor, according to her Twitter page. Her LinkedIn page says she is a “Health & Wellness Strategist, Financial Literacy Activist, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker.”
The District Attorney’s affidavit, released with the criminal charges, says, “Officer Shelby reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation from a confrontation with Mr. Crutcher, who was not responding to verbal commands and was walking away from her with his hands held up, becoming emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted. Although Mr. Crutcher was wearing baggy clothes, Officer Shelby was not able to see any weapons or bulges indicating and (sic) weapon was present.”
3. Crutcher’s Death Was Captured on Dramatic Video
Police Chief Chuck Jordan, in a Monday news conference, said: “I want to assure our community, and I want to assure all of you and people across the nation who are going to be looking at this, we will achieve justice, period.”
According to The Tulsa World newspaper, the chief labeled the videos “very disturbing” and “very difficult to watch.”
“That looks like a bad dude, too,” the officer in the helicopter over the shooting scene was captured on video as saying.
It took two minutes for police to check on Crutcher after he was shot, said ABC News.
See all of the videos here:
4. Tiffany & Terence Celebrated Their 40th Birthdays a Month Ago & Terence Texted That He Wanted to Make Her Proud
At the news conference, Tiffany Crutcher said, “We just celebrated our 40th birthday August 16 a month ago.”
She read a text message that her brother wrote her, which said, “I’m gonna show you. I’m going to make you all proud.”
Tiffany said now “he’ll never get that chance. Because of the negligence and the incompetency and the insensitivity and because he was a big bad dude he’ll never get that chance.”
5. Tiffany Crutcher Demanded That Charges Be Filed Against Officer Shelby
The Crutcher family wants the officer who fired the fatal shot charged. The shooting is still under investigation, including by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“We’re demanding today, immediately, that charges are pressed against this officer, that was incompetent, that took my brother’s life,” said Tiffany Crutcher. “We just want justice. Because I want everyone to know that that big bad dude? His life matter. His life mattered. And the chain breaks here. We’re going to stop it right here. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, this is bigger than us here. We’re going to stop it right here.”
At that point, applause rang out at the news conference. Three dozen family members attended it, and Tiffany Crutcher also asked for peaceful protests.