The head of Miami’s police union has inserted himself in the controversy over the police shooting of Terence Crutcher, a black man who was shot and killed by police last Friday.
The police-involved shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, along with another one in Charlotte, N.C., has sparked riots across the country.
Crutcher’s SUV was stopped in the middle of the road, and his family steadfastly maintains his car was simply stalled.
No gun was found in his vehicle, but police say they found PCP.
Javier Ortiz, Miami’s union president, took to Facebook Wednesday with a post indicating that the shooting was “justified.”
“He didn't have his hands up after all like the media is reporting.#unfortunate, but justified.”
Tulsa Police Department released a dashcam video of Crutcher’s shooting Monday.
It appears that Crutcher is walking away from officers and his arms are raised at the moment he was tased by one officer, and then shot by Police Officer Betty Shelby.
However, Ortiz posts a video on Facebook, linking to his Vimeo page, that he says shows Crutcher put his hands down just seconds prior to the shooting with the intention of reaching inside his car via the driver’s side window.
Crutcher’s family and attorney insist the window was up.
“If the subject attempted or reached into that window and it was perceived he was grabbing a weapon, the officer based on their training and experience may articulate why a firearm was used to subdue him,” Ortiz said.
Shelby’s attorney, Benjamin L. Crump , told ABC News Crutcher was not obeying commands.
“She continues to get him to talk to her, but she won’t,” Crump said. “He just keeps staring at her.”