Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton went on camera to demonstrate the dangers of letting somebody reach into their vehicle (videos below.)
On May 4th, Sheriff Walton released the following statement:
"On September 16, 2016. Betty Shelby went to work serving and protecting the citizens of Tulsa. She had been protecting and serving for ten years before, but on this day, she encountered a situation and made a hard, split-second decision that her job requires her to make. The decision Betty made resulted in the death of Terence Crutcher. That split second of time has been dissected and reviewed for months on end.
Days later, at the onset of criticism, a press conference was held by elected officials and local leaders. They made efforts to explain the facts in a way that specifically left out anything supportive of Betty Shelby. They made an attempt to respond to their critics and promised justice would be served.
In the end, a very rapid decision was made to say Betty Shelby was in error and the system we know as criminal justice was started against her. Now, Betty Shelby will stand before a judge with her life in the balance. With her might stand the law enforcement officer's ability to protect themselves and others.
Law enforcement is asked daily to make split-second decisions. However, what is being done by the leaders that quickly decided to blame Shelby can have an impact on the lives of law enforcement everywhere and may require the officer to hesitate in making a decision that has no time for hesitation. That hesitation can lead to folded flags being given to grieving families.
In this incident, she could have ignored what she saw as a danger and left the danger to be faced by some random stranger but, instead, she decided to stop and live up to the promises she had made when she became a police officer.
In a few days, the trial of Betty Shelby will begin. At the end, answers will be given. My prayer is that justice will somehow come out of this mess and law enforcement officers will be left with their ability to protect their communities. My prayer is that officers defending themselves or saving someone else will not have to consider the possibility of going to prison for doing what is asked of them.
All of this is my opinion but it's an opinion with thirty-six years of law enforcement service as a guide. In those years, have seen law enforcement take a lot of hard hits but believe that if Betty Shelby is found guilty, the law enforcement officer's ability to protect could suffer a knock-out punch.
As the trial begins, my heart will be with every law enforcement officer that stands on the line between the good and the bad. As Betty Shelby faces this trial against law enforcement, I will stand with her and keep praying that when this is over, law enforcement will still be on that line."
Sheriff Scott Walton went even further by going on video to explain the dangers of allowing somebody to reach into their vehicle:
This may all seem like theory, but the most chilling real-world example is the murder of Deputy Kyle Dinkheller. On January 12, 1998, Deputy Dinkheller stopped Andrew Brannan for speeding. Brannan refused to follow Deputy Dinkheller's commands before returning to his vehicle, retrieving a weapon, and then murdering the 22-year-old deputy.
When Brannan was interviewed by agents the next day, he told them, “Y’all need to work on your techniques.”
Most police academies in the U.S. show this video and train their officers never to let suspects return to their cars.
You can see the dash camera video of the incident below. WARNING - EXTREMELY GRAPHIC: