The Tulsa County (Oklahoma) Sheriff’s Office allegedly covered up training records for a 73-year-old deputy who accidentally shot an unarmed black man to death.
Robert Bates, who is white, says he confused his taser for his police-issue handgun when he shot Eric Bates to death on April 2.
After the national news media picked up the story, Bates was arrested and charged with 2nd degree manslaughter in Harris’s death.
Bates, a wealthy insurance agent donated equipment, cars and cash to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s department. In exchange for his benevolence, the sheriff’s department gave Bates a gun and a badge and let him play cop whenever he was bored.
The Tulsa World newspaper has uncovered evidence that the sheriff’s office falsified records to show that Bates received the training hours that were required to carry weapons.
Training officers who refused to falsify the records were reportedly reassigned.
Supervisors at the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office were ordered to falsify a reserve deputy’s training records, giving him credit for field training he never took and firearms certifications he should not have received, sources told the Tulsa World.
At least three of reserve deputy Robert Bates’ supervisors were transferred after refusing to sign off on his state-required training, multiple sources speaking on condition of anonymity told the World.
Bates posed a $25,000 bond and was released from jail on Wednesday.
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