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Robert Bates on Trial For Murdering Eric Harris

Bates and Harris

Bates and Harris

Trial started this week for Robert Bates, the ex-volunteer reserve sheriff deputy for the Tulsa County, Oklahoma’s Sheriff’s office.

On April 2, 2015, an undercover deputy was conducting a sting operation to catch 44-year old Eric Harris illegally selling a gun.  Bates, who is 73-years old, volunteered to help out.  Eric ran, and upon apprehension and taken to the ground, Bates pulled his gun and shot Eric in the back.

Bates’ defense is that he thought he was taking out and discharging his taser and not his .357.  Bates is charged with 2nd degree manslaughter. If convicted, he faces up to 4 years in prison.

The killing of Eric Harris resulted in activists organizing.  The actions of We The People resulted in a grand jury investigation into the Tulsa County Sheriff’s office. The grand jury indicted Sheriff Glanz on 2 misdemeanor charges, including one for denying lawful requests of internal investigations into his office’s Reserve Deputy program.  After almost 30 years as Sheriff,  Stanley Glanz resigned.

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