*The situation involving Tulsa County, Okla. Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy Robert Bates just got more complicated as reports surface about the office allegedly falsifying Bates’ training records.
The wealthy 73-year-old insurance agent, who is white, has generated national attention for accidentally killing Eric Harris, an unarmed black man, on April 2. The fatal incident stemmed from Bates using his police-issued handgun instead of his taser. Bates was later arrested and charged with 2nd degree manslaughter for Harris’s death.
As attention focuses on Bates, word now comes that the Tulsa World newspaper has brought to light evidence that the sheriff’s office falsified records that show Bates receiving the required training hours to carry weapons.
Bates is known for supporting the Tulsa County sheriff’s department with donating equipment, cars and cash. Bates’ support translated in to him receiving a gun and badge from the sheriff’s department, which allowed him to play cop whenever he was bored.
Multiple sources speaking on condition of anonymity acknowledged the situation as they told the World that at least three of Bates’ supervisors were transferred after they refused to sign off on his state-required training. In addition, reassignments were reportedly given to training officers who refused to falsify Bates’ records.
The Tulsa World interviewed sources that spoke of Tulsa County sheriff’s office supervisor being ordered to falsify a reserve deputy’s training records, as well as give Bates credit for field training he never took and firearms certifications he should not have received.
Meanwhile there’s another issue growing out of the shooting of Eric Harris. Not only was he shot by Bates, one officer put his knee on Harris’ head to hold him down which prevented him from being able to breathe. Harris is heard saying, “I’m losing my breath.” That’s when an officer yells, “Fuck your breath!”
Watch the whole incident: