Tags: MidPoint | Volunteer | deputy | shooting | police | 73 | law enforcement

Ex-NYPD Detective: Volunteer Deputy Shooting Bad for All Police

By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 08:26 PM

The case of a 73-year-old volunteer sheriff's deputy in Oklahoma who is charged with manslaughter in a botched arrest caught on video hurts all law enforcement because it undermines public trust and empowers anti-cop critics, says a retired New York detective who teaches criminal justice.

The incident is also "a real disaster in the making" for the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office as new allegations emerge of falsified training records for the amateur cop, former NYPD cold case squad leader Joseph L. Giacalone told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Thursday.

Story continues below video.


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"I don't know who's trying to cover up what, but this does not bode well for not only the police departments in Tulsa, but for all law enforcement," said Giacalone, "because people who are anti-cop right now are pointing to this incident and saying, 'See? Look what they do: When they do something wrong, they try to cover it up.'"

The Tulsa World reported on Thursday that deputies who refused to falsify training records for Bates were punished.

The department is now investigating itself, according to reports — reviewing the reserve deputy program that put a wealthy, retirement-age insurance executive and local law-enforcement booster, Robert Bates, on real operations including an undercover sting on April 2 that turned deadly.

Bates is a friend and fishing buddy of Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz, and an avid supporter of the department who paid for equipment including five police cruisers, according to reports.

The April 2 bust recorded by a police body camera ended with a criminal suspect, Eric Harris, shot as he lay pinned to the ground on his stomach and a horrified-sounding voice — apparently that of Bates — crying out, "Oh, I shot him. I'm sorry."

Harris died later at a hospital. Bates said he mistook his firearm for his stun gun. Glanz has said that Bates completed all required training for reserve deputies, and he called the shooting involving his friend a "mistake."

"I can't see that mistake being made," said Giacalone, adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and author of "The Criminal Investigative Function: A Guide for New Investigators."

Giacalone said that police agencies across the country deputize volunteers in part because it's cheaper than hiring more full-time, trained personnel. He didn't object in principle to letting volunteers help keep communities safe, but said they should be as fully trained as their professional counterparts.

He criticized the pay-to-play practice that apparently enabled Bates to do dangerous field work.

"Anybody who pays money and then wants to go out on patrol or whatever is already suspect, as far as I'm concerned," said Giacalone. "This is not a game. This is a real-life situation. This is not TV."

He said Bates' age is also a legitimate concern. Noting that the NYPD mandatory retirement age is 63, he said, "Seventy three years old, out on patrol on a fugitive task force, to me is just mind-boggling."

"And, unfortunately, a bad incident like this is going to cause a backlash to all those men and women that volunteer their time to help out their community," he said.

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The case of a 73-year-old volunteer sheriff's deputy in Oklahoma who is charged with manslaughter in a botched arrest caught on video hurts all law enforcement because it undermines public trust and empowers anti-cop critics, says a retired New York detective.
Volunteer, deputy, shooting, police, 73, law enforcement
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2015-26-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 08:26 PM
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