The 73-year-old Oklahoma reserve deputy who shot a man while attempting to tase him earlier this month was charged today with second-degree manslaughter.
Robert Bates, a rich insurance executive who has donated thousands of dollars in items to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office in what appears to be a pay to play police plan, faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
The incident, which was captured on another deputy’s body camera, raises the question as to how much training Bates received since volunteering with the sheriff’s office since 2008.
After all, he not only mistakenly pulled out his gun instead of his taser, he quickly dropped his gun and immediately apologized for shooting Eric Harris in the shoulder.
Surely, they would have trained him to never admit to blunders as most cops tend to do. Or at least proclaim that he was in fear for his life.
But he was apparently taught none of that before being allowed to participate in the undercover sting operation with the other full-time deputies.
Harris, who had just sold a gun to an undercover deputy before fleeing when realizing he had been set up, expressed shock when realizing he had been shot.
But another deputy, who lacked the remorse displayed by Bates, mocked Harris as life slipped away from him.
“He shot me! He shot me, man. Oh, my god. I’m losing my breath,” Harris says.
“Fuck your breath,” a deputy responds. “Shut the fuck up!”
“I shot him. I’m sorry,” Bates can be heard saying.
The decision to charge Bates was announced by the Tulsa County District Attorney this afternoon after the video of the shooting went viral over the weekend.