Homicide

Family: Tulsa shooting victim was turning his life around

  • Marq Lewis, right, of We The People Oklahoma, stresses that the "protest for justice" over Friday's shooting death of Terence Crutcher, sponsored by We the People Oklahoma, will remain peaceful, in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

    Marq Lewis, right, of We The People Oklahoma, stresses that the "protest for justice" over Friday's shooting death of Terence Crutcher, sponsored by We the People Oklahoma, will remain peaceful, in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo made from a Sept. 16, 2016 police video, Terence Crutcher, left, lowers his right arm as he is pursued by police officers moments before he was shot and killed by one of the officers in Tulsa, Okla. When it comes to charging an officer, legal experts say, the most important determination isn't whether the officer was actually in danger in hindsight. It's whether the officer reasonably believed in his or her own mind that they or fellow officers were in danger at the split second they choose to shoot. There's no clear, standard formula investigators can rely on to answer the question of whether an officer's belief that he or she's in peril is reasonable, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago said. (Tulsa Police Department via AP)

    In this photo made from a Sept. 16, 2016 police video, Terence Crutcher, left, lowers his right arm as he is pursued by police officers moments before he was shot and killed by one of the officers in Tulsa, Okla. When it comes to charging an officer, legal experts say, the most important determination isn't whether the officer was actually in danger in hindsight. It's whether the officer reasonably believed in his or her own mind that they or fellow officers were in danger at the split second they choose to shoot. There's no clear, standard formula investigators can rely on to answer the question of whether an officer's belief that he or she's in peril is reasonable, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago said. (Tulsa Police Department via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • People hold signs at a "protest for justice" over Friday's shooting death of Terence Crutcher, sponsored by We the People Oklahoma, in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

    People hold signs at a "protest for justice" over Friday's shooting death of Terence Crutcher, sponsored by We the People Oklahoma, in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)  (The Associated Press)

The unarmed black man shot dead in the middle of a Tulsa street last week by a white police officer had run-ins with the law dating back to his teenage years and had recently served a four-year stint in prison.

But those closest to the 40-year-old victim, Terence Crutcher, described him as a church-going father who was beginning to turn his life around.

Crutcher's family could not be reached for comment on his criminal record. But an attorney for his family, Benjamin Crump, said the information should not be used to "demonize" Crutcher.

The Friday shooting was captured by police video, though it's not clear from that footage what led Tulsa officer Betty Shelby to draw her gun or what orders officers gave Crutcher.