Tulsa Reserve Deputy Robert Bates accidentally shot an unarmed suspect while taking part in an undercover sting operation. The district attorney charged Bates with second-degree manslaughter.
Robert Bates is a wealthy ex-CEO of an insurance company who, according to the Tulsa World, has made numerous contributions to the Tulsa Sheriff’s Office.
Bates was recently charged with second-degree manslaughter for the shooting of Eric Harris, an unarmed African American man.
According to CNN, Eric Harris attempted to sell a gun illegally to police officers on an undercover sting operation. When the officers moved in for the arrest, Harris tried to run.
According to a video of the shooting, taken by a body cam on one of the officers, Harris had been on the ground with officers surrounding him.
While officers were trying to subdue Harris, Bates shouted that he was pulling his taser. Instead, he pulled his gun and shot Harris.
Bates claimed he mistook his gun for his taser. He can be heard in the video saying, “Oh, shit. I shot him. I’m sorry.”
Harris later died of his injuries.
On Tuesday morning, Bates surrendered to a second-degree manslaughter charge.
The Tulsa World claims that Bates’ training records are forgeries. Saturday, Bates’ lawyer released the records, indicating that he was proficient in firearms, according to the New York Times. CNN reports that the Tulsa World stands by its claim that the records were falsified.
However, there were other discrepancies present in claims made by Bates and the sheriff’s office, CNN reports. Bates claimed that he has been an advanced reserve deputy since 2007, but the sheriff’s office’s records indicate that he has been a reserve deputy since 2008.
Bates would need 480 hours of training in order to be an advanced reserve deputy, yet the sheriff’s records indicate that he had only completed 300 hours of training.
The Tulsa World reported that Sheriff Glanz said that Bates was certified to use three weapons, including the revolver that killed Harris, but that Glanz later said that the “Sheriff’s Office has not been able to find the paperwork on those certifications.”
Lastly, Bates said he had received training through Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, but that office claims never to have provided such training.