Once again, an unarmed black man has been shot dead by a police officer — this time in Tulsa, Okla.
Once again, there's a graphic video of the shooting.
And once again, there's a flood of media attention and speculation concerning exactly what happened and who's to blame.
The local newspaper — the Tulsa World — has been all over the story of Terence Crutcher's tragic death, which dominates today's front page:
Tiffany Crutcher asked for any protests that result from viewing the video, which she called “quite disturbing,” to be carried out peacefully.
“Just know that our voices will be heard,” she said. “The video will speak for itself. Let’s protest. Let’s do what we have to do, but let’s just make sure that we do it peacefully, to respect the culture of (the Crutcher family).”
I wonder: What exactly is meant by the term "culture" in that quote? Might it have something to do with the family's religion?
That seems highly likely, particularly given a later quote in the story. Here, the dead man's twin sister responds to a voice on the police video who remarks that her brother looks like "one bad dude":
“You all want to know who that big, ‘bad dude’ was?” Tiffany Crutcher asked.
“That big, ‘bad dude’ was a father. That big, ‘bad dude’ was a son. That big, ‘bad dude’ was enrolled at Tulsa Community College, just wanting to make us proud. That big, ‘bad dude’ loved God. That big, ‘bad dude’ was at church singing, with all of his flaws, every week. That big, ‘bad dude’ — that’s who he was,” she said.
A caption that ran with a photo accompanying the story in today's Oklahoman — which reprinted the World report — identified the man's father as "the Rev. Joey Crutcher" but gave no additional details concerning him.
In a related column on the front page of today's World, Ginnie Graham described Terence Crutcher this way:
The father of four came from a religious family, and he remained a devout Christian — singing each Sunday in church.
Perhaps I've missed a story along these lines, but I'd love more in-depth details on the family's faith and its role in loved ones' response to Terence Crutcher's death. I can't help but think that religion is a big part of the family's "culture."