The Tulsa County reserve deputy charged with second-degree manslaughter after allegedly confusing a Taser with a real gun and killing a man has made hefty donations of equipment to the sheriff’s department in the past, according to KRMG.
Deputy Robert Bates, 73, also served as Chairman for the re-election campaign of Sheriff Stanley Glanz in 2012 and contributed money to the campaign.
Bates shot and killed Eric Harris, 44, after Harris allegedly attempted to flee the scene of an undercover gun buy conducted by the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) Violent Crimes Task Force on April 2.
The Sheriff's Office said Bates was technically "not on duty" at the time.
After hearing from several sources that Bates was a large contributor to TCSO, KRMG asked for open records from the county. See the full list of donations here.
“Bates is not an active member of the task force but donates his hours there as a highly regarded member of the Reserve Deputy Program,” Maj. Shannon Clark told Tulsa World.
Clark said Bates is not the only wealthy person who makes donations to the reserve program.
“There are lots of wealthy people in the reserve program,” he said. “Many of them make donations of items. That’s not unusual at all.”
On Monday, the Harris family released a statement about the shooting, claiming that Tulsa authorities urged the family not to hire a lawyer.
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