Tulsa Cop Charged With Manslaughter
An unpaid Oklahoma reserve deputy was charged with manslaughter in the death of a suspect whose shooting was captured on video tape. Reserve deputy Robert Charles “Bob” Bates, 73, was charged with second-degree manslaughter on Monday in the death of Eric Harris, 44.
The release of the dramatic footage has sparked controversy surrounding the shooting of a suspect who was already on the ground. Bates says he meant to shoot Harris with a stun gun during the April 2 confrontation, but grabbed his .38-caliber handgun instead.
After a single gunshot is fired, Bates can be heard on the video saying, “Oh, I’m sorry. I shot him.” Harris is heard screaming: “He shot me. Oh my God!” He also added that he was having trouble breathing to which a deputy responds, “[Expletive] your breath.”
Bates, who is a full-time insurance executive, is classified as an “advanced reserve” and can do tasks that full-time deputies do.
The video of the shooting was released at the Harris family’s request.