Friday, April 17, 2015

Oklahoma Cop Volunteers to Shoot Someone

It's his role in the script?

"Oklahoma deputy charged in suspect’s shooting death; Volunteer confused handgun with stun gun, officials say" by Sean Murphy Associated Press  April 14, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY — Prosecutors charged a reserve sheriff’s deputy with manslaughter Monday in the death of a man who was fatally shot as he lay on the ground at the officer’s feet — a shooting that was certain to raise questions about the use of volunteer officers to supplement full-time police.

The sheriff’s office has said Robert Bates, a 73-year-old insurance executive who was volunteering on an undercover operation in Tulsa, mistakenly pulled out his handgun instead of his stun gun and shot the suspect as he struggled with deputies.

Isn't he a little old to be playing cop?

Bates, who is white, was charged with second-degree manslaughter involving ‘‘culpable negligence’’ for the April 2 death of Eric Harris, a 44-year-old black man.

A video of the incident shot by deputies with sunglass cameras and released Friday at the request of the victim’s family, shows a deputy chasing and tackling Harris, whom they said tried to sell an illegal gun to an undercover officer.

As the deputy subdues Harris on the ground, a gunshot rings out and a man says: ‘‘Oh, I shot him. I’m sorry.’’

Harris screams: ‘‘He shot me. Oh, my God,’’ and a deputy repeatedly curses back at him.

Harris was treated by medics at the scene and died in a Tulsa hospital.

The family said in a statement that it was ‘‘saddened, shocked, confused, and disturbed.’’

‘‘Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of all of this is the inhumane and malicious treatment of Eric after he was shot,’’ the family wrote. ‘‘These deputies treated Eric as less than human. They treated Eric as if his life had no value.’’


The use of reserve officers is commonplace across Oklahoma and much of the nation. Cities and counties often turn to them for extra staffing because of a lack of resources. They are sometimes used to free up regular officers to concentrate on high-priority duties.

Where is all the f***ing tax loot going?

Reserve deputies are permitted to carry firearms but have far less training than regular officers. Most are unpaid and volunteer out of a sense of civic duty, according to the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training director Steve Emmons.

While there’s no current official tally, an article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin in 2006 estimated the national total of reserve officers at 400,000. 

They have databases for everything, except... pffft!

In Oklahoma, reservists are required to complete 240 hours of basic training on subjects such as civil and criminal law, traffic enforcement, investigations, firearms, and defensive tactics. There is no age requirement, but all reserve officers must annually recertify with a minimum score on a firearms-training course.

Bates, who was briefly a full-time officer with the Tulsa Police Department from 1964 to 1965, is now an insurance executive who updates his certification every year and has completed more than the state-required hours, Tulsa County sheriff’s spokesman Shannon Clark said.

Bates was acting in a support role during the April 2 sting operation and does not typically confront suspects, Clark said.

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz has described Bates as a personal friend, and records show he has been a generous donor to the department since he became a reserve deputy in 2008.

Oh, he PAID HIS WAY on to the FORCE!


"Outside look at police shooting sought in Tulsa" Associated Press  April 17, 2015

TULSA — A state lawmaker called Thursday for an independent review of Tulsa’s reserve deputy program as more questions arose about the training of a 73-year-old volunteer officer who says he accidentally shot a suspect to death while the man was being held down by others.

The Tulsa County sheriff’s office said it would conduct an internal investigation, but Representative Mike Shelton fears a growing mistrust of police after a series of high-profile killings by law officers.

Reserve deputy Bob Bates has said he mistakenly pulled out a handgun rather than a stun gun on April 2 as Eric Harris lay on the ground.

Harris’s family has questioned whether Bates was sufficiently trained. The Tulsa World reported Thursday that sheriff’s office supervisors who refused to fudge Bates’s paperwork were transferred.