It is confirmed that Tulsa County volunteer deputy Robert Bates, who killed 73-year-old Eric Harris, had used his own gun, not a departmental weapon, claims Harris’ family lawyer.
Dan Smolen, the lawyer, argued that the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office ignored various legal formalities while issuing a gun to the accused. The department also failed to provide Bates with proper training.
Records show that Bates was trained with a .45, which was not the gun he used to shoot Harris.
“None of those that are approved by the sheriff’s office own policies include a .357 Smith and Wesson,” Smolen said.
“Firearms training is a critical piece of this story. None of the records produced by the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office or Mr. Bates’ attorney, whoever produced them, indicate that he was ever certified with a .357 revolver.”
Bates, during interrogation, said he confused his handgun with a Taser during the chase.
“Mr. Bates has been to the range several times and is qualified, and that is documented,” Sheriff Stanley Glanz said.
He also said that the FBI has reviewed the video, but they did not find anything wrong. He added that Bates passed all training exams and thus is qualified.
Bates, who is charged with second-degree manslaughter for killing Harris, was released after paying $25,000 bail.