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Black Lives Matter Birmingham Will Host Vigil on Thursday

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, September 22, 2016, members of Black Lives Matter (BLM) Birmingham will host a Candlelight Vigil, Balloon Release & Prayer at Kelly Ingram Park to honor the life of Terrence Crutcher, the unarmed father of four who was killed by Tulsa, Oklahoma police on September 16.

BLM activist Martez Files said in a statement, “Our love and prayers are with the people of Tulsa as they prepare to again call out an unjust system that allows black bodies to be tried, convicted and executed in the streets.”

BLM Birmingham Founder Cara McClure said, “We invite the public to join the Birmingham Chapter of Black Lives Matter as we honor Terrence’s life and continue our calls for justice.”

The Black Lives Matter Birmingham Chapter’s Candlelight Vigil, Balloon Release & Prayer Honoring Terrence Crutcher will be held on September 22, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in Kelly Ingram Park.

Police were overheard on the radio calling Crutcher a, “Big, bad dude” before he was shot by officer Betty Shelby.

According to original reporting by the Alabama Media Group’s Jonece Starr Dunigan, Crutcher’s twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher, is a doctor in Montgomery. Dr. Crutcher said, “That ‘big, bad dude’ was a father. That ‘big, bad dude’ was a son. That ‘big, bad dude’ was enrolled at Tulsa Community College. That ‘big, bad dude’ loved God. That ‘big, bad dude’ was singing with all of his flaws every week.”

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The twins had just celebrated their 40th birthday on August 16. Dr. Crutcher said, “Ever since I could remember we would have a birthday cake, ‘Happy Birthday Terence and Tiffany,’ every year. Even though I’ve been in Alabama for a long time, they would still get that birthday cake and send me a picture and we’re gonna continue that tradition, our birthday was a tradition.”

NBC Nightly News has obtained a video of the slaying. On it an apparently unarmed Crutcher was shot with his hands up walking away from the officers. Crutcher’s vehicle was broke down on the side of the road.

At a rally in Ohio, Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump said that on the video it looked like Crutcher had done, “everything he was supposed to do. And he looked like a really good man.” Trump suggested that the officer who killed Crutcher had “choked.” Trump said, “But maybe people like that, people that choke, people that do that maybe they can’t be doing what they’re doing, okay? They can’t be doing what they’re doing.”

Tulsa Police dash cam video via the PBS News Hour

Black Lives Matter Birmingham is an official affiliate chapter of the Black Lives Matter Global Network.

Original reporting by CNN, the Associated Press, PBS News Hour, the Chicago Tribune and the Alabama Media Group contributed to this report.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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