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Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Minor Charges for Ex-Sheriff in Fatal Shooting

TULSA (CN) - Former Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz was charged with two misdemeanors Tuesday for an elderly volunteer's fatal shooting of Eric Harris, an unarmed black man, when the volunteer mistook his gun for a Taser.

Tulsa County Judge Rebecca Nightingale ordered Glanz to return to court Jan. 20 for a follow-up hearing.

Glanz resigned on Sept. 30 after a grand jury recommended he be suspended for refusing to release records of volunteer reserve deputy Robert C. Bates, who mistook a his gun for a Taser when he shot and killed Harris on April 2.

Bates is awaiting trial for second-degree manslaughter involving culpable negligence.

Bates, 74, a wealthy insurance agent, has donated money, equipment and time to the sheriff's department.

Glanz has endured intense criticism of the volunteer reserve deputy program, which the ACLU criticized as a " buy a badge " program that allowed Glanz's "favored friends and wealthy donors" to carry guns and badges with far less training and experience than professional deputies.

A body camera video showing Harris running away from deputies as they pulled up to his vehicle went viral on the Internet. Harris was chased down, held to the ground and a single gunshot is heard.

Bates immediately apologized as Harris screamed that he had been shot. As Harris screamed that he couldn't breathe, an officer said, "Fuck your breath."

Police said Harris was being arrested in an undercover investigation of illegal gun sales. Three of Bates' supervisors were transferred after they refused to sign papers stating that he had received state-required training. The supervisors allegedly refused order to falsify Bates' training records to give him credit for field training he never took, and for firearms certifications he should not have received, according to media reports.

Glanz faces one count of refusing to perform an official duty.

The 2-page criminal information claims Glanz "denied lawful requests" for the results of an internal investigation in 2009 into his office's reserve deputy program involving Bates.

The investigation indicated that Bates was not as well-trained as professional deputies and received special treatment.

Glanz also is charged with willful violation of the law: taking a $600 monthly stipend for county travel while using county-owned vehicles for the travel.

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