Police May Have Falsified Training Records For Fake Cop Who Killed Suspect
The 73-year-old reserve deputy in Tulsa who killed an unarmed suspect during a sting operation had his training records falsified so he could serve in the field, according to the Tulsa World.
Not only that, but those who objected to certifying an undertrained septuagenarian as a beat cop apparently found themselves transferred to new jobs.
Robert Bates has never been a real cop, save for a one-year stint 50 years ago, but generous donations to the Tulsa County sheriff’s office helped lead to his appointment as a volunteer deputy who was allowed to go on patrols during his days off from a job as an insurance company executive. It was during one such patrol that Bates shot and killed Eric Harris, apparently after mistakenly thinking he was holding his Taser rather than a handgun. (RELATED: Make-Believe 73-Year-Old Cop Mistakenly Guns Down Real Suspect)
In the first days after the shooting, Tulsa police defended their reserve deputy program by saying that Bates, who has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, had received hundreds of hours of training that made him just as qualified to serve in the field as any other deputy. Now, it appears that claim was untrue.
According to the World, which cited multiple unnamed sources within the department, supervisors with the Tulsa County sheriff’s office were told to falsify Bates’ records, giving him credit for field training he never received and also inappropriately granting him several firearms certifications. Three of them apparently refused to sign off on this falsification, and found themselves transferred afterwards.
Bolstering claims of possible fraud is a radio appearance by Sheriff Stanley Glanz on Tuesday, where Glanz said that Bates was certified in three different weapons, including the revolver he killed Harris with, but that the paperwork for theses certifications had apparently been misplaced.
Dan Smolen, the lawyer representing Harris’s family, has argued that Bates basically bought the right to play police officer.
The sheriff’s office has denied that anything improper occurred.
“The training record speaks for itself. I have absolutely no knowledge of what you are talking about,” undersheriff Tim Albin told the World. “There aren’t any secrets in law enforcement. Zero. Those types of issues would have come up.”
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