Tulsa officer acquitted in fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher

Tulsa, Oklahoma (CNN)After nine hours of deliberations, a jury acquitted Tulsa police Officer Betty Shelby in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man.

The killing in September was one of a number of police shootings of unarmed black men across the United States in recent years that have heightened concerns about possible police misconduct.
Shelby, who is white, said she fired out of fear when she killed Crutcher, who had his hands above his head.
Before reaching a verdict Wednesday night, the nine white and three black jurors asked the judge if they could explain their decision in court.
The judge told them they could only announce their verdict in court but said they were free to explain it publicly following the trial’s conclusion.
Shelby left without making a statement after the verdict.

Family speaks out

But members of Crutcher’s family tearfully walked out of the courtroom, with some saying the verdict was hard to accept.
“This is definitely a tough pill to swallow,” said sister Tiffany Crutcher. “Terence’s hands were up. Terence was not an imminent threat. Terence did not attack her. Terence didn’t charge at her. Terence was not the aggressor. “
Their father, Joseph Crutcher, said the verdict was unjust.
“Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder,” he said. “I have four grandchildren that are at home now, that have lost their daddy.”
Shortly after the jury’s decision, demonstrators gathered outside the courtroom in a peaceful protest.
“Bring her out,” the crowd yelled, referring to Shelby. “No justice, no peace, no racist police!”
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said residents have a right to express their opinions but they should do so in a peaceful manner.
“I ask Oklahomans to respect our criminal justice system and especially the jurors, who heard the evidence from both sides in this case,” she said.

How the shooting took place

On September 16, 2016, Crutcher’s SUV was found stalled in the middle of the street. A witness called 911 and said a man was running away from the vehicle, warning it was going to blow up.
Shelby testified she arrived on the scene and approached the vehicle and cleared it, not seeing anyone inside.
As she turned back to her patrol car, she saw Crutcher walking toward her, she testified. He alternated between putting his hands in his pockets and putting them in the air, Shelby said.

Oklahoma lawmakers fighting about law on budget

OKLAHOMA CITY – Facing an $878 million budget hole and increasingly limited time to fill it, lawmakers are working to raise revenue without actually “raising revenue.”

What House Minority Leader Scott Inman calls “verbal gymnastics” and Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols calls “creativity under the Constitution” have the two sides wrangling over a series of bills aimed at generating money for the state.

The Oklahoma Constitution states “no revenue bill should be passed during the five last days of session.” It adds, no revenue bill can become law without a vote of the people or a three-fourths vote.

Yet House Republicans have spent the last several days pushing through legislation that bring in revenue with simple 51-vote majorities.

“We are guaranteeing that this budget is challenged in court and we come back here in, I don’t know September [or] October and try to fix it,” said Norman Democrat Rep. Emily Virgin on the floor Tuesday. “All the while schools are trying to figure out what to do, hospitals are trying to figure out how to take care of our sick. Nursing homes are trying to figure out how to take care of the elderly. Let’s give them some certainty.”

Democrats have been critical of measures to impose a “cigarette fee” and “modify incentives” on oil and gas wells — delicately-crafted terms intended to sidestep the restrictions in the Constitution.

“We’re trying to follow both the spirit and the letter of the law of the Oklahoma Constitution,” Echols told NewsChannel 4. “The Oklahoma Supreme Court has defined revenue-raising measures as measures whose primary purpose is to raise revenue or changes in the permanent tax code. Revenue-raising measures have not been when we’ve made changes to exemptions in the tax code.”

Outside groups have threatened lawsuits over measures they see as unconstitutional.

Legal challenges could put the Supreme Court in an awkward position, legal analyst Al Hoch said.

“I know the Supreme Court’s not going to want to be in a position of ‘Are we going to have to shut down state government; Are we going to have to take away teacher pay; Are we going to have to stop from fixing the road?'” Hoch said. “What do you want to do? Put the Supreme Court in the position to shut down the state.”

If the court were to find the bills unconstitutional, lawmakers would have to find another way to raise the money they thought they had at the end of session, Echols said.

Depending on when such a ruling were handed down, that could mean a special session.

As lawmakers looked for solutions, the state would likely have to declare a revenue failure and agencies would suffer deeper cuts.

“I think they’ve got some serious problems with that being challenged,” Hoch said. “It’s something that’s not going to fly constitutionally probably.”

But Republicans like Echols maintain past legal precedent is on their side.

Tuesday night in a committee meeting, he pushed blame for the current situation on Democrats.

“We all know you’re not going to support the revenue raising measure and that’s okay, that’s the way it is,” he told a Democratic representative. “That’s why we’ve had to get creative under the law and under the Constitution. It is complying with the law.”

Horses get much needed rest.

Horses at restThe horses of Pasquali Racing Stables got a “Much Needed” break over the 2013-14 Winter break.  The horses have now moved onto Will Rogers Downs at Claremore to compete there in the 2014 Spring Thoroughbred meet.  Trainer Lozano believes the freshening up will improve the horses performances.  “They put on some weight while turned out.” stated Lozano, “They all look good”.   The “Ham Sammich”, rather “Timid” in the shedrow, “Ruled the Roost” in the pasture.  Groom Fidel Sanchez took care of the Martin Lozano trainees over the break at the Pasquali Ranch in Deer Creek. 

2013 Racing Stable “Wrap Up”

My Lucky ImpPasquali Racing Stables ended their meet at Remington park with a “Double Header” as “Tactical Magic” and “Ham Sammich” both won their respective races on the last day of the meet, December 17th, 2013.   “Tactical Magic”  a 3 year old Oklahoma Bred Daughter of “Tactical Cat” held sway easily over her field in the 2nd race of the card, which was a “Make-Up” day due to icy weather.  The most popular horse of the stable, “Hame Sammich” ended up defeating a field of 13 rivals in the 9th race on the card as he went to the front in typical “Ham” fashion, by some 10 lengths.  At the wire, he was swarmed by foes and after a long photo evaluation, was posted the winner by a nose.  A Trophy presentation was held as “Ham Sammich” won the “Racing Office Purse”.  “Ham Sammich” had many “Well Wishers” such as Eric and Marshall Luna.  Eric Luna stated, “I knew he could do it, but he made us wait until the last day of the meet!”  Pasquali Racing Stables ended up with 5 wins and 4 seconds from 21 starts and made the owner’s standings.  In the photo is “My Lucky Imp” who was a 2 time race winner during the 2013 Fall Remington Fall Thoroughbred Meet.

Overanalyse

overanalyze

April 13th, 2013: “Overanalyze” crushes Arkansas Derby field and looks forward to “1st Saturday in May and “Run for Roses” by James Pasquali.

Trainer Todd Pletcher’s “Overanalyze” angled out and scored an easy victory in the latest renewal of the Arkansas Derby.  This race has been considered by many ,of late, to be the most important Kentucky Derby prep.  Pletcher, an apt pupil of multiple Derby winning trainer Wayne Lucas, appeared much the best when coming off of the pace to easily defeat a respectable field of horses in the “Spa City” 1 & 1/8th mile contest.

Pletcher’s “Overanalyze” was a 5th place finisher in “Verrazano”‘s “Gotham” recently.  Mr. Pasquali believed that the close finish to Derby Favorite “Verrazano”, made him the one to beat.  “Sent of as a 3rd favorite in a solid field of 3 year-olds, this horse has shown that he is a contender.”  Mr. Pasquali is unconvinced that “Verrazano” is any better horse than “Overanalyze”.  Mr. Pasquali states, “the field was coming to Verrazano in the final strides of the Gotham.  I believe the classic distance will favor Overanalyze in Kentucky.”