Four years ago, Terence Crutcher was fatally shot by then-Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby.
To commemorate Crutcher’s life, his family and the foundation bearing his name donated their time and money to a transitional homeless shelter. Tiffany Crutcher, Terence Crutcher’s sister, said working with and contributing to a pop-up emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness, located at 315 S. Gilcrease Museum Road, best honored her brother.
“Terence would always have someone on our sofa. We would wake up, and there would be someone with a blanket on them because they didn’t have a place to go,” Tiffany Crutcher said. “Terence was always feeding the homeless, and his daughters, they do that now.
“They do that every Sunday, … following in their father’s footsteps.”
On Sept. 16, 2016, Shelby fatally shot Terence Crutcher on 36th Street North near Lewis Avenue. Terence Crutcher was unarmed. Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter and was acquitted by a jury in May 2017.
In remembrance of Terence Crutcher, the Terence Crutcher Foundation donated $10,000 for continued operation of the emergency shelter. Foundation members have spent about a week collecting donations of clothing and hygiene products to prepare kits for the shelter’s visitors.
“This … is simply a way for us to serve, to show everyone in the world what Terence, what his life, was really about,” Tiffany Crutcher said.
The emergency shelter is in the previous county juvenile detention facility. It can house several dozen people in private rooms, giving them a place of their own while they transition toward more permanent housing.
The shelter opened recently and is operated in collaboration with local government, private organizations and nongovernmental organizations.
“If we all do our small part, we can keep this shelter open more than six months,” Tiffany Crutcher said.
Volunteers at the shelter prepared food and comfort kits and sang gospel music for the people staying at the shelter.
Greg Robinson, a Terence Crutcher Foundation board member, said Wednesday was a “day of service in remembrance” of Crutcher.
The foundation identified housing security and homelessness as an area of need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the comfort kits were face masks and other protective equipment.
“If we are truly the most philanthropic city, truly the most kind city, then we have to realize that housing insecurity is not just somebody else’s problem; it’s all our problems,” Robinson said. “That really is what Terence Crutcher represented; that really is what his family represents; and that is what this foundation represents.”
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Gallery: The shooting of Terence Crutcher: The Tulsa World archives
Sept. 16, 2016: Tulsa police officer fatally shoots Terence Crutcher
Sept. 18, 2016: Police release names of officers involved in shooting
Sept. 19, 2016: Police release video of shooting
Sept. 20, 2016: Police say PCP in vehicle used by Crutcher
Sept. 20, 2016: Attorneys for Crutcher family address shooting
Sept. 21, 2016: Terence Crutcher memorial service held
Sept. 22, 2016: First-degree manslaughter charge filed against Tulsa officer
Sept. 24, 2016: Nearly 1,000 attend Terence Crutcher memorial service
Sept. 27, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton, other civic leaders lead justice march
Sept. 30, 2016: Tulsa officer Betty Shelby pleads not guilty
Sept. 30, 2016: Mother of Terence Crutcher's children removed as his estate administrator
Oct. 11, 2016: PCP found in Terence Crutcher's system; family attorney calls it 'immaterial'
Oct. 13, 2016: Oklahoma City Thunder honors Terence Crutcher, family
Oct. 25, 2016: GoFundMe ordered to be placed in Terence Crutcher's estate
Nov. 29, 2016: Tulsa detective testifies about vehicle window
Nov. 29, 2016: Betty Shelby's daughter decries media coverage
Dec. 5, 2016: No common-law marriage; GoFundMe money now in estate account
Feb. 1, 2017: Trial date set for Tulsa officer Betty Shelby; defense motions overrruled
March 23, 2017: Tulsa officer Betty Shelby denied request for another preliminary hearing
March 29, 2017: Defense moves to toss 'bad dude' comment
April 2, 2017: Tulsa officer Betty Shelby appears on '60 Minutes'
April 12, 2017: Special treatment at the courthouse?
April 24, 2017: National nonprofit raising money for Officer Betty Shelby's 'cost of living'
May 2, 2017: Tulsa police union files ethics complaint against DA
May 8, 2017: Jury selected for Tulsa officer Betty Shelby trial
May 10, 2017: Rev. Al Sharpton returns to Tulsa for 'Call for Justice' rally
May 15, 2017: Defense rests after unsuccessful motion for mistrial
May 16, 2017: Jury acquits Betty Shelby of first-degree manslaughter
May 18, 2017: Jury 'could never get comfortable with the concept of Betty Shelby being blameless'
May 20, 2017: Demonstrators at Mayfest host 'die in'
May 23, 2017; Tulsa officer Betty Shelby gets back pay; moves to administrative duty
July 14, 2017: Betty Shelby resigns from Tulsa Police
Aug. 10, 2017: Betty Shelby joins Rogers County Sheriff's Office
Aug. 21, 2017: Betty Shelby seeks to expunge Terence Crutcher manslaughter case records
September 2017: Terence Crutcher's parents talk about grandchildren, coping with son's death one year later
Oct. 25, 2017: Betty Shelby's request to expunge record granted
Dec. 28, 2017: Terence Crutcher Foundation forms encourage people to report negative police interactions
March 30, 2018: Tiffany Crutcher talks about implicit-bias training for Tulsa police
April 4, 2018: Crutcher family files second wrongful death lawsuit against city
May 2018: Betty Shelby talks about joining Rogers County
June 13, 2018: Terence Crutcher's father addresses City Council
August 2018: First Terence Crutcher memorial scholarships awarded
Aug. 27, 2018: Betty Shelby teaches course for officers on 'surviving the aftermath of a critical incident'
Nov. 11, 2018: Betty Shelby uninvited to law enforcement conference
Dec. 12, 2018: Community leaders challenge Tulsa Police hiring of Betty Shelby
March 1, 2019: Betty Shelby will not face charges for federal civil rights violation
March 14, 2019: Tiffany Crutcher addresses city council; mayor responds
March 21, 2019: Dismissal of a Terence Crutcher wrongful death lawsuit upheld
April 2019: Betty Shelby to teach basic NRA pistol course with husband
May 14, 2019: Tiffany Crutcher takes policing reform campaign to Capitol Hill
September 2019: Tulsa Police improve aspect of its use-of-force policy since Terence Crutcher's death
April 2020: Terrence Crutcher Foundation offers free meals to 'health care heroes'
June 1, 2020: After protests, Tulsa mayor, advocates for police reform agree to work together for substantial changes
Tulsa Race Massacre / The Tulsa World Library
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