We all knew it was coming. Following the shooting death of Terence Crutcher at the hands of Tulsa, Oklahoma officer Betty Jo Shelby’s posthumous defamation of his character began, right on schedule.
We’ve seen this play out following each officer involved shooting death. If a victim has some sort of criminal occurrence in their past, it’s sure to make the news. For others, even a traffic ticket makes the news in the attempt to sully the image of the deceased victim and somehow justify the taking of their life.
When news of Mr. Crutcher’s death made the news, the gospel community at large expressed their sadness at the loss and issued condolences to Mr. Crutcher’s family.
Since footage of the shooting was released, Officer Shelby’s account seemed to conflict common sense yet no action against her is pending. The family and people everywhere have decried the actions of Officer Shelby and the helicopter officers in dealing with Mr. Crutcher, who was in need of assistance and not a harm or threat to anyone.
Attorney Benjamin Crump has taken on the case along with co-counsel Demario Solomon Simmons who both spoke vehemently against the Tulsa PD and city infrastructure in the wake of the shooting and lack of accountability.
The Gospel Music Workshop of America joined the National Action Network to impede the slanderous reports that now suggest that the drug PCP was found in Mr. Crutcher’s car. From the very onset of the investigation, Officer Shelby stated that she feared for her life and assumed that Mr. Crutcher was under the influence of the hallucinogenic drug. Officer Shelby stands by other unfounded allegations such as him reaching into an open window. Video, once released debunked the window theory, as the window was rolled up.
Joining the NAN, the Gospel Music Workshop of America stands in solidarity with the family of Rev. Joe Crutcher, a long time GMWA member and chapter representative and also demand ‘immediate justice‘ for the life and loss of Terence Crutcher.
Watch the full press conference below. In the introduction, Rev. Al Sharpton explains the presence of GMWA Chairman Bishop Albert Jamison.
Following the press conference, Bishop Albert Jamison and the GMWA Board have spoken out to not only sternly defend the character of Mr. Crutcher but to reinforce the narrative initially shared by the Crutcher family.
Here is the official statement from the GMWA:
A press conference was held today in Manhattan, NY at the National Action Network House of Justice, to discuss the outrage felt in the fatal police shooting of Terence Crutcher. The purpose was to appeal for justice and bring awareness of the ongoing police brutality that affects Black Lives across the nation. The press conference was hosted by Al Sharpton, Bishop Albert Jamison, and the family of Terence Crutcher. Bishop Albert Jamison (Chairman), Members of the Board, and all involved with The Gospel Music Workshop of America, express how deeply saddened they are at untimely, unnecessary passing of Terence.
Terence was a part of the Gospel Music Workshop of America all of his life. He is affectionately called a “workshop baby”, a term used for those, who from birth, have been a part of GWMA. Terence’s father, Joe Crutcher, has been a GMWA Chapter Representative for over 30 years and would bring Terence to the conventions annually. Terence was the father of four children and will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Funeral plans are being made by Terence’s family and will be announced soon.
A musical is also being planned in Terence’s memory. Details will be forthcoming
The story should’ve been that an SUV broke down on the road in Tulsa. What has happened is; the justice system broke down again, this time on the road in Tulsa.
We come to Tulsa as repairmen not to fix a car, but to fix a broken system that keeps breaking down. -Rev. Al Sharpton