In 2015, 43-year-old Eric Harris, who was unarmed, was fatally shot by Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Robert Bates in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bates was sentenced to four years in prison for manslaughter, but only served 47 days in the Tulsa County Jail and spent one year, four months and 11 days in special lockup with the Department of Corrections. In total, he served a year and a half for killing Harris.
Bates is now speaking out for the first time since his release, and his comments are truly deplorable.
In an interview with ABC 8 in Tulsa, 77-year-old Bates said, “I feel very bad about it. It has been a very disruptive thing in my life. I feel sorry for his son, his ex-wife and family. It bothers me.” He also added, “They tried to make it into a racial issue, I am not the least bit racial.”
During a drug sting in 2015, Eric Harris tried to sell a gun to an undercover officer. When Harris realized it was a cop, he allegedly started running, and cops tackled him to the ground, including Bates. He claimed he tried to subdue Harris and meant to use his taser, but instead Bates grabbed his handgun and fatally shot into Harris’ armpit. On the body camera, you can hear Bates saying, “Oh, I shot him, I am sorry.”
See the disturbing video below:
ABC 8 also reports, “Critics said Bates was a wealthy businessman with connections, who had no business carrying a badge and a gun.”
While Harris describes his life as being “disrupted,” Eric Harris’ life is over.