Charges for 73yr Old Armed ‘Reserve Deputy’ who Fatally Shot Eric Harris


UPDATE – TULSA, Oklahoma – Tulsa County reserve deputy Bob Bates has been charged with manslaughter in the death of Eric Harris.

“Mr. Bates is charged with Second-Degree Manslaughter involving culpable negligence,” said District Attorney Stephen Kunzweiler.

(original article below)

It was a mistake – that’s the explanation Oklahoma officials gave after a 73yr old reserve deputy fatally shot unarmed Eric Harris.

Harris can be seen on the heavily redacted video running from police as the officer with the body cam gives chase, catching and taking Harris to the ground. Once on the ground the officer can be heard telling Harris, “Roll on your stomach now.”

Reserve deputy Robert Bates, 73, can then be heard yelling “Tazer! Tazer!” as if to inform the other officers that he was about to use his stun gun on Harris, when suddenly a gunshot rings out.

I shot him!” the stunned reserve officer says, as he drops his gun onto the ground. “I’m sorry.”

Harris can be heard screaming:

He shot me! He shot me, man. Oh, my god. I’m losing my breath.”

An Officer responds with:

You ran! You f—kin ran! Shut the f— up!” “F–k your breath! Shut the f–k up!

Harris, who was in his 40s, was pronounced dead about an hour after the shooting, authorities said.

He had bolted from officers who were trying to arrest him for selling a 9 mm. semiautomatic pistol and ammunition to undercover cops.

Sheriff’s Capt. Billy McKelvey claims the arresting officers were not aware Harris had been shot, despite the gunshot noise, reserve deputy Bates’ admission and apology for shooting, the unnamed officers callous remarks to Mr Harris about his pleading for breath due to the gunshot wound and the gun being dropped on the ground at the scene and recovered.

The shooter reserve deputy Robert Bates, 73, is not an active member of the task force but donates his hours there and has donated thousands of dollars worth of items to the Sheriff’s Office since becoming a reserve deputy in 2008.

Bates apparently is not alone as both a donor and reserve deputy. While the Sheriff’s Office has not released its full roster, Maj. Shannon Clark said other wealthy donors are among the agency’s 130 reserve deputies.


“There are lots of wealthy people in the reserve program,” he said. “Many of them make donations of items. That’s not unusual at all.”
Bates has donated multiple vehicles, guns and stun guns to the Sheriff’s Office since he became a reserve deputy in 2008, Clark said.

Tulsa World reports:

According to the Sheriff’s Office’s Reserve Deputy Program policy manual, reserves — who Clark said are not compensated financially for any hours they work — are separated into three categories: basic, intermediate and advanced.

Bates, Clark said, is classified as an “advanced reserve,” which means he “can do anything a full-time deputy can do.” Though Bates’ assignment to the Violent Crimes Task Force was not unusual, Clark said, the insurance company executive would have been assigned to the undercover operation in a support role.

“Although he had training and experience for the arrest team, he’s not assigned to the arrest team,” Clark said of Bates’ role on the task force. “He came to render aid during the altercation, but he’s in a support role during the operation. That means keeping notes, doing counter-surveillance, things like that.”

According to Reserve Deputy Program policy, to be classified as “advanced,” you must have 320 hours of training with CLEET (the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) as well as have completed 480 hours of the TCSO Field Training Officer Program.

At that point, the policy states, reserve deputies can “perform normal field duties by themselves and without the direct supervision of a certified deputy.”

Screenshot from 2015-04-12 09:43:04


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