Two of the three Tulsa, Okla. deputies involved in an attempt to arrest Eric Harris that led to his death have been reassigned after threats were made against them and their families, CNN reports.
According to the news site, Sheriff Stanley Glanz announced the reassignments in a news conference Monday. The two officers, who have not been named, were trying to take Harris into custody during a sting operation when 73-year-old Reserve Deputy Robert Bates shot him in the struggle. Bates maintains that he thought he was firing his Taser. He was charged last week with second-degree manslaughter and is free on $25,000 bond pending trial.
The officers involved were not charged, but have come under fire for holding Harris down during the attempted arrest. At one point, a deputy can be heard telling Harris “F*ck your breath” after he tells them he can’t breathe.
Glanz indicated he has not yet decided how to proceed with a review of their actions, saying any action may be delayed until after the court case involving Bates has been settled. Bates is charged with second-degree manslaughter in Harris’ death.
Amid questions about his age — 73 — training and friendship with Glanz, Bates has said the shooting was accidental, and has apologized to the family. On Monday, Glanz also apologized to Harris’ family.
“We are sorry Eric was taken from you,” he said. But he said his office holds itself to the highest national standards of policing, and said Monday that the FBI had cleared the agency of any civil rights violations in the shooting. Bates is white. Harris was black.
Glanz did not say where the deputies’ reassignments were. Meanwhile, Bates is facing major scrutiny over allegations that his training records were forged. Just this week, an attorney for the reserve deputy released records to verify some of his training.
The allegations, first brought forth by Tulsa World, were dismissed by Glanz, who said he was “certain Bates had qualified on the gun range and had extensive additional training.”
SOURCE: CNN | VIDEO SOURCE: NDN
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