The VICE Guide to Right Now

Cop Who Killed Unarmed Black Man Offers Class on 'Surviving the Aftermath'

Officer Betty Shelby says her class is all about helping other cops who are "victimized by anti-police groups and tried in the court of public opinion."
August 28, 2018, 7:10pm
Photo (L) via the Tulsa Police Department/ AP. Screenshot (R) via PoliceCenter / YouTube.

A year after Betty Jo Shelby was acquitted of manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher, her life is pretty much back to the way it was before she shot and killed an unarmed black man: She’s a deputy for an Oklahoma police department, living one county away from where the shooting went down. Only now she's teaching a class for other cops all about "surviving" an officer-involved shooting—when you're the cop who did it.

According to Tulsa World, she's already offered the class, called "Surviving the Aftermath of a Critical Incident," to a handful of police departments and agencies. She told local ABC affiliate KTUL it's all about what she calls "the Ferguson effect," when a cop who commits something like an officer-involved shooting "is victimized by anti-police groups and tried in the court of public opinion."

"I have a class that I teach to officers to give them the tools to survive such events, and it's a way of surviving financially, how to survive legally, emotionally, and physically," Shelby told KTUL.

On Tuesday, she's offering the class to the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office and local activists in the city are, understandably, outraged. Ahead of Shelby's Tuesday class, advocate group We the People Oklahoma and Oklahoma state rep. Regina Goodwin slammed the sheriff's office for bringing Shelby in to teach.

“We feel that she created the incident,” Goodwin told Tulsa World. “Yet she gets to skip to the head of the class after she failed the test, and she gets to become the teacher.”

In addition to her new teaching gig, Shelby, who's now back on active duty as a deputy for the Rogers County Sheriff’s Department, has reportedly taken up quilting and feeding goats and miniature donkeys on her farm. But she told KTUL the "best part" of her days include "the simple things like stopping at QT to get my gas or coffee," and getting "to interact with citizens and say hello and shake hands and just visit."

"It’s one more indication that Betty Shelby has been rewarded while Terence Crutcher’s children are suffering still,” We the People founder Marq Lewis told the Washington Post. "They don’t have anyone going around the state talking about their experiences."

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.

Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.