Ex-sheriff: Deputy used unapproved firearm in fatal shooting

AP News
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Posted: Nov 03, 2015 1:59 PM
Ex-sheriff: Deputy used unapproved firearm in fatal shooting

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A reserve deputy used an unapproved firearm that he wasn't qualified to use when he fatally shot an unarmed man, a former Oklahoma sheriff has admitted.

The Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/1NON8Fd ) reported Tuesday that former Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz acknowledged to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies that Robert Bates was carrying a personal firearm in April when he shot Eric Harris.

In an 18-page letter to the agency, Glanz also told the agency that Bates had not followed policy to attain the required approval and documentation to carry that weapon. Glanz said the shooting of Harris was the "sole documented use" by Bates of his unauthorized, personal weapon while on duty.

The Tulsa World obtained the letter — a response to questions posed by the agency in May — through an open records request. The letter is dated Sept. 3.

According to an arrest report, Harris, 44, was handcuffed and restrained during a sting involving gun sales in April when the 73-year-old Bates fatally shot him. Bates has said he confused his stun gun and his handgun. Bates resigned from the sheriff's office soon after the shooting and has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter.

Glanz said Bates resigned before the agency was able to discipline him in the shooting. Glanz also said he waived application requirements Bates as he did for all reserve deputies who had previously been law enforcement officers. Bates was an officer for one year in the mid-1960s. He said seven reserve deputies from 2009 to 2014 did not have documentation in their files showing they satisfied annual firearms qualification requirements.

A grand jury indicted Glanz on two misdemeanor counts after an investigation of his department amid allegations of special treatment for reserve deputies and concern about Bates' performance and training. Glanz finally submitted his resignation in late September, about five months after Harris was killed. His resignation was effective Nov. 1.