Terence Crutcher Police Record? An Objective Look

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Terence Crutcher was killed by Officer Betty Jo Shelby on September 16, 2016. What made this event particularly controversial was that Terence was entirely unarmed during the interaction, which caused a massive outcry of support for the family of the victim.

Officer Shelby was placed on administrative leave as the Tulsa Police Department looked into the event. Both body cam and helicopter footage saw no indication of violent intent outside of Terence reaching toward his vehicle. While Shelby shot him, her partner elected to tase him instead.


The vehicle was searched, and no weapon was found. Despite this, an autopsy found PCP in his system. One of the larger news stories in favor of Shelby was that Terence had a long history of police run-ins.

Terence Crutcher Police Record

This brief rundown will cover Terence Crutcher’s criminal record as described by police reports. While the previous actions of Terence do not justify the events that transpired on September 16th, 2016, they are a part of the public record.

Weapon Possession and Resisting Arrest

In 1995, Terence Crutcher had gotten into trouble with local police when he was reported to have discharged shots out of his vehicle window in Osage County. When police caught up with him, they told him to get out of his vehicle. Terence moved to reach for his lower leg before the responding officer caught his arm.

Police found a concealed pistol tucked into Terence’s right shoe beneath his sock. When brought to court, Terence pleaded no contest and eventually got a smaller sentence as a result, according to reports.

Drug Trafficking & Other Police Interactions

While less is known of this particular charge, we do know that it ended up with Mr. Crutcher serving four years from 2007 to 2011. Very little is known about the event that led up to his 2007 conviction, though the defense of Officer Shelby used it in her own trial.

Finally, it has been reported that he had been involved in four different altercations with Oklahoma police that resulted in the officers responding with some amount of force. One of these was in 2012 when Terence was arrested for public intoxication.

Aftermath of The Terence Crawford Shooting

While police footage showed chilling footage of an unarmed man being apprehended with deadly force, there was also evidence of PCP in Crutcher’s vehicle and on his autopsy report. They also reported that Terence’s father, Reverend Joey Crutcher, had stated in 2012 that Terence had an ongoing problem with the drug.

The tragedy had gotten so much attention that the United States Department of Justice even got involved. This did not amount to much, however, with them later determining that no civil rights violations would be handed out to anyone involved, including Officer Shelby.

Publicly, protesters surrounded the Tulsa County Courthouse, and several people spoke about the need for Shelby to be charged with murder for her actions on September 16.

Officer Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter, though she was later acquitted in August of the following year. She returned to the Tulsa Police Department briefly before finding work in nearby Rogers County.

Since her trial, Officer Betty Jo Shelby found herself in controversy again when the public discovered that she was teaching a course titled “Surviving the Aftermath of a Critical Incident.” This resulted in more protests, though the course eventually did take place, with several officers showing up.

While we discuss the police record of Terence Crutcher, it’s worth noting that Officer Shelby has since had the shooting of Mr. Crutcher expunged from her own record. This means that background checks will not show the event, though a Google search of her name will still feature a couple hundred articles surrounding it.

A Word on Police Records

Most criminal records are open to the public, though finding them can be notoriously difficult and time-consuming; we recommend using a dedicated criminal records search to find them more easily. Employers, potential romantic interests, and neighbors all have a right to search the names of prospective acquaintances. Despite this, it is often used against victims of violent crimes, to the frustration of many grieving families seeking justice.

If a criminal record is expunged, it can eventually be entirely removed from the public record, depending on which state the crime occurred. For more information on criminal record expungement in your own area, check the state website, which can go into more individual detail.