It was standing room only as family, friends, community officials and those simply wanting to pay their respects said their final goodbyes to 40-year-old Terence Crutcher. The services were held at Antioch Baptist Church Saturday (Sept. 24) a little over a week after he was gunned down.
Crutcher became the latest unarmed black man to be killed by police. On Sept. 16, while experiencing car troubles on 36th Street North, near Lewis Avenue. Dash cam footage along with helicopter surveillance captured the fatal encounter. Officer Betty Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter and is now out on bail.
The three-hour home going service was full of Gospel music and praise dancing. Several people spoke at the funeral including Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Crutcher’s family lawyer, Damario Solomon-Simmons and cousins Rev. A. Cortes Rex and Shea Seals.
The New York Times reports, Crutcher was a preacher’s kid, and his parents were in the church when they learned the horrible news. Rev. Joey Crutcher and his wife Leanna were reportedly leading the rehearsal for Antioch’s Baptist Church’s 57th anniversary.
One of the first speakers was Solomon-Simmons, who matter-of-factly stated it could’ve been his funeral or anyone who looks like him.
I”t could have been me,” he said “because, just like Terence, I’m 40 years old, and just like Terence, I’m bald-headed, and just like Terence, some people think I look like a bad dude, but just like I am, Terence was not a bad dude.”