Tags: Oklahoma | Tulsa | reserve deputy | shooting

Report: Training Records of Okla. Cop in Fatal Shooting Falsified

By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 12:24 PM

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday that it will conduct an internal review of its deputy reserve program following a report that supervisors in the sheriff's office had been ordered to falsify the training records of Reserve Deputy Robert Bates, 73, who fatally shot a man during an April 2 undercover operation.

Bates, who said he mistook his handgun for a Taser, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the killing of Eric Harris, who sheriff's office representatives said was in the process of selling undercover deputies a stolen gun. They say that Harris, who had prior felony convictions, could have received a life sentence if convicted of selling the firearm.

Bates is currently free on $25,000 bond.

The announcement came just hours after the Tulsa World reported that sheriff's office supervisors were instructed to falsely certify that Bates was given credit for field training he never took and firearms certifications he never received.

Earlier this week, Sheriff Stanley Glanz told a local radio station that Bates had been certified to use three weapons, including the revolver he fired at Harris. But the sheriff's office has been unable to locate the paperwork on those certifications, Glanz added.

He said the deputy who certified Bates has moved on to work for the Secret Service.

"We can't find the records that she supposedly turned in," Glanz said. "So we are going to talk to her to find out for sure he's been qualified with those [weapons]."

At least three of Bates' supervisors were transferred after refusing to sign off on his state-mandated training, multiple sources told the newspaper.

"As with any critical incident, we are doing an internal review of our program and policy to determine if any changes need to take place," Tulsa County Sheriff's Maj. Shannon Clark said.

Earlier this week, Tulsa Undersheriff Tim Albin said he was unaware of any concerns about the training Bates had received. He rejected claims that Bates' training records were falsified and that supervisors who refused to participate in such activity were transferred to less desirable positions.

"The training record speaks for itself. I have absolutely no knowledge of what you are talking about," Albin said. "There aren't any secrets in law enforcement. Zero. Those types of issues would have come up."

Bates was classified by the sheriff's office as an "advanced reserve," meaning he would have been required to take 480 hours of a "Field Training Officer" program to maintain that classification, the World reported.

In a statement to investigators, Bates, an insurance executive, said he had been involved in "at least 100 other" assignments like the April 2 undercover operation involving Harris. 

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The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office will conduct an internal review of its deputy reserve program following a report that supervisors in the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office had been ordered to falsify the training records of Reserve Deputy Robert Bates.
Oklahoma, Tulsa, reserve deputy, shooting
442
2015-24-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 12:24 PM
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