A WHITE police officer has been charged with first-degree manslaughter after she allegedly fatally shot an unarmed black pastor while he had his hands up.
Prosecutors have filed charges against Betty Shelby after she gunned down Terence Crutcher, 40, on September 16.
Footage recovered from the scene in Tulsa, Oklahoma appears to show Crutcher walking away from car with hands up.
A warrant has now issued for her arrest.
If convicted of first degree manslaughter Shelby could face a minimum sentence of four years in jail.
This news comes after the city of Charlotte, in North Carolina was rocked by two nights of violent riots over the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott – a disabled black man who his family claimed was unarmed.
The Tulsa County District Attorney's office said: “[Officer Shelby] reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation by becoming emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted.”
However the dashcam and aerial footage from the incident does not offer a clear view of the shooting.
Shelby’s lawyer Scott Wood has argued that Crutcher was not following police commands.
Crutcher also allegedly began reaching into the window of his SUV.
Police confirmed that Crutcher was unarmed – but they said a search of his vehicle revealed a vial of PCP or phencyclidine, also called angel dust.
They will not comment whether Crutcher was high while driving until after the autopsy results are released.
Speaking earlier, Scott Wood said his client had been on her way to a domestic disturbance call when she noticed Crutcher standing in the middle of the road.
Shelby then allegedly asked what he was doing but received no response.
She pulled out her gun – a response she claims was because she thought he was armed – after radioing in the incident.
Wood said: “She is very distraught about the incident.
“The fact that she has taken a human life but at the same time she wants the Cructher family to know she meant no ill will.
“This wasn't done out of hate or anger. She stopped there that day to help somebody.
“Things didn't go the way they should have. And it ended up as an officer-involved shooting.”
Crutcher’s death also sparked a protest of around 100 people in Tulsa following the incident.