Robert Bates, 73, a businessman in Tulsa, Okla., had one Taser training class over a six-and-a-half-year period, took three firearms training classes, and qualified 10 times, from 2009 to 2014, to use a handgun, the news outlet reports, citing documents received from his attorney, Scott Wood.
Bates has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the April 2 death of Eric Harris. According to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, Bates was assisting other deputies who were trying to take Harris into custody after he ran during a sting operation. Bates reportedly pulled out a gun instead of a Taser, killing Harris.
“Robert Bates has met all the requisite training required by Oklahoma to be a reserve deputy,” said the lawyer, Scott Wood, in an interview with CNN.
CNN could not independently confirm the documents were authentic. Wood said he got them from Bates, who asked the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office to provide his training records. The sheriff’s office has turned down CNN’s requests for the training documents, saying they are part of the investigation. Authorities did not reply Saturday to a request for comment on Wood’s statements.
The lawyer for the family of the man who was killed claims that Bates, 73, wasn’t qualified to be on the force, but received preferential treatment because he’d made donations to the agency and was a friend of the sheriff.
The documents were released days after a report by Tulsa World News that the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office faked Bates’ training records. The publication also alleged that officers who refused to participate in the plot were transferred to other positions.
After the report last week, the sheriff’s office said Thursday that it would conduct an investigation of its deputy reserve program.
Friends and family of Harris gathered in Tulsa on Saturday afternoon for a visitation and viewing.
SOURCE: CNN | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN