Tulsa Reserve Deputy Who “Accidentally” Killed Unarmed Black Suspect May Have Lacked Training

Today in news that does not shock but nonetheless repulses me: Robert Bates, that “Reserve Deputy” with the Tulsa police department who shot and killed unarmed suspect Eric Harris over the weekend after he “mistakenly” grabbed his gun instead of his Taser, may have lacked the training required to be on the job in the first place. According to the Tulsa World, supervisors at the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department were ordered to falsify the field and firearms training records for Bates, 73, giving him certifications he should not have received. According to anonymous sources speaking with the media outlet, three supervisors were transferred after they refused to sign off on Bates’ state-required training. The Sheriff’s Office has thus far been unable to find the paperwork on those certifications, giving further credence to the theory that they were falsified. Among those certifications suspected to have been falsified is the one allowing him to carry the revolver with which he shot Harris. Bates has been charged with 2nd degree manslaughter and intends to plead innocent. Meanwhile, the Tulsa Police Department says they will conduct an internal review of the deputy reserve program. [Tulsa World via NY Daily News]