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20 Sep, 2016 17:40

‘People still don't get why Kaepernick’s kneeling?’: Twitter blasts #TerenceCrutcher killing

‘People still don't get why Kaepernick’s kneeling?’: Twitter blasts #TerenceCrutcher killing

The hashtag #TerenceCrutcher is trending on Twitter as tens of thousands of people react to the police killing of the unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Friday evening.

Police dashcam and helicopter footage released Monday confirmed that Crutcher was not carrying a weapon at the time of his killing.

Crutcher’s death has prompted Twitter users to ask why some people still can’t understand NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s US national anthem protest, highlighting systemic abuses against African Americans and minorities in the US.

READ MORE: #TerenceCrutcher shot by police despite being unarmed & having hands in air (GRAPHIC VIDEO) 

The police footage showed Crutcher walk with his hands up to his SUV and place them on the vehicle as four police officers approached from behind with handguns or stun guns pointed at him. One of the officers can be heard in the helicopter footage saying, "That looks like a bad dude, too.”

Crutcher, a college student and father, was shot by officer Betty Shelby who had worked with Tulsa Police Department since 2011. She has since been placed on paid leave. The Justice Department has opened an independent investigation into Crutcher’s killing.

Crutcher’s family have called for charges to be immediately filed against the police officer. Meanwhile, Twitter has erupted in outrage, with many suggesting the incident is yet more evidence that footballer Kaepernick’s kneeling protest is justified.

Kaepernick sparked controversy when he refused to stand for the national anthem at a game he was playing at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara last month. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback said he was protesting police brutality and racial injustices in the US and his peaceful demonstration has since gathered momentum as more sports stars join in.

His protest has also been heavily criticized, including by a police union.

President Obama said that although some found Kaepernick’s anthem protest difficult to watch, he defended the sports star’s right to protest.

READ MORE: US anthem protests increase despite police criticism 

African American sports stars have been among those most vocal on Twitter in the aftermath of Terence Crutcher’s killing.

The shooting comes amid heightened tensions between the black community and the police following a number of recent high profile police shootings caught on video, such as the killings of of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling which sparked widespread protests across the US this summer.

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