Jury finds Oklahoma cop not guilty in shooting of black man

A jury has acquitted of first-degree manslaughter a white Oklahoma police officer who said she fired out of fear a year ago when she killed an unarmed black man with his hands held above his head.

The jury included three African Americans and Time reported that "at least four of the 12 jurors were crying" as they exited the courtroom.

After more than eight hours of deliberations, the jury reached a verdict to acquit Officer Shelby of her manslaughter charge, according to NBC News.

Shelby shot and killed Crutcher, an unarmed black man, on September 16, 2016. In police videos from the incident, Crutcher can be seen walking away from officers with his hands in the air before he is shot.

Shannon McMurray, Shelby's lawyer, accused the prosecutors of hypocrisy and said they were attacking the officer in response to the media frenzy surrounding the case.

About 100 demonstrators gathered in a plaza outside the courthouse Wednesday evening to protest the verdict.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin released a statement on Wednesday night after the verdict: "Those who disagree with the verdict have the right to express their opinions; I just ask that they do so in a peaceful manner".

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"And I believe all the officers involved, they're going to be held accountable because this family right here, we believe in a higher power". She denied race was a factor in the killing and insisted her actions were driven entirely by the behavior of the man she shot, Terence Crutcher, 40, after his vehicle was left blocking a road. In the video, it looks as though the shots were fired as Crutcher was walking back towards his vehicle with his hands up. "No justice, no peace, no racist police!".

Crutcher's family has said that police have attempted to "demonize" Crutcher for having drugs and distract from the fact that he did not have a gun at the time of the encounter.

She said, "That big bad dude - his life mattered". Other protesters walked through the downtown streets while chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot". Police found a vial of PCP in the SUV's door, but no weapons were found.

Crutcher's family and supporters complained after the defense rested that their relative and his past transgressions were being put on trial, not Shelby.

Protests over Crutcher's death and Shelby's verdict have been peaceful. She also said that in the video of the shooting, the officers appeared to be more concerned for Shelby than for Crutcher, as he lay wounded. "There's still a family that has dealt with a tragedy here, the Crutchers, and we still extend our deepest sympathies to them". "When will the police change policy", he said.

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler pointed out that jurors deliberated carefully before delivering a verdict. The officer who made the comment was not identified.

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