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Author Topic: Tulsa County Sheriff shooting of Eric Harris  (Read 34817 times)
cannon_fodder
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« on: April 13, 2015, 01:01:24 pm »

I started a new thread for this topic, not because the other discussion was bad... but because it began on page 28 of a general police thread. This discussion is likely to go on for a while so I would like to focus the discussion to this incident. Here's my two cents:

The facts of the case:

- The Deputy was on the force only after he donated large sums of money to the Sheriff's election campaign and to the department
- He was 70+ years old
- He was tapped to be part of the "capture" team on a felony gun bust
- The dead man appears to be guilty of illegally selling a firearm, which I believe is punishable by up to 10 years in jail (21 OS 1283) [not death]
- The bust was botched to start with. Preferably, the suspect is met with overwhelming force before he has an opportunity to run
- The capture was successful, the man was tackled and subdued quickly
- The man was on the ground with 4 or 5 deputies on top of him and one arm in a hold
- The Deputy tried to Taser the man, but shot him and quickly apologized
- Even after shooting him, the deputies persisted on their confrontation and apparently did not administer first aid until TFD arrived (the man was kneeling with an open wound when TFD arrived)
- The firearm that was being used has been reported as being a firearm that was not authorized (the Deputy did not qualify on that firearm)
- The man died
- The TCSO response has been poor


The utter BS:
- The Sheriff argued that the deputy(ies) thought he was going for a gun.  They had 4-5 guys on top of him. No one ever mentioned movement towards a gun. He had no gun. And deputies do not yell "Taser Taser" if you go for a gun. A Deputy does not yell "I shot him, sorry" if he feels the shooting was justified by the suspect going for a gun. This is a post hoc fabrication

- The Sheriff claimed the man was on PCP. The man entered a truck, had a coherent conversation, and was subdued on the ground. That is not the behavior of someone on PCP.

- The Sheriff claims that the other deputies did not know the man was shot. That they were institutionally deaf or some such non-sense.
::BANG:: from 2 feet away from everything
D1: "Oh sh!t, I shot him. I'm sorry."
Man: "Damn, he shot me. He shot me! I can't breath!"
D2: "F*ck you're breathing" while kneeling on the back of the man that was shot from 2 feet away

I can't imagine telling a jury that D2 didn't hear the gunshot within a couple feet of his head, that he didn't hear the "I shot him, sorry" or the screams of "he shot me" which he was responding to. That is utter nonsense. If you can't not perceive a gun shot from a couple feet away or the conversation you are participating in, you have no business what-so-ever intervening on behalf of the public. If you can't perceive a gunshot, how can you perceive any other sort of threat?

- Calling the shooter the "victim." The Sheriff's office, before even conducting an investigation, was referring to the Deputy who accidentally shot a man to death as the "victim" in this situation. If nothing else, it is in poor taste and signals that your investigation is predetermined.

- A Taser and a firearm may feel a lot alike (this is a design flaw in many opinions), but the firearm is generally to be kept on the dominant hand side with the taser on the side of the off hand. They weigh significantly different. The sites are different. It is a monumental error to confuse the two. Not just a small mistake. It would be like "accidentally" hitting the gas instead of the brake, the pedals look a lot alike... but if you confuse the two you are still at fault.

- - - - - -

Taking the facts as presented, a charge of second degree manslaughter seems imminent.

THE LAW:

OUJI-CR 4-103

MANSLAUGHTER IN THE SECOND DEGREE - ELEMENTS

No person may be convicted of manslaughter in the second degree unless the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime. These elements are:

First, the death of a human;

Second, the death was unlawful;

Third, the death was caused by the culpable negligence of the defendant(s).

http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=81158

OUJI-CR 4-104

MANSLAUGHTER IN THE SECOND DEGREE -

CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE DEFINED

The term "culpable negligence" refers to the omission to do something which a reasonably careful person would do, or the lack of the usual ordinary care and caution in the performance of an act usually and ordinarily exercised by a person under similar circumstances and conditions.
http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=81159

I'm not even sure what elements of the statute are in dispute:
1) a human died,
2) the Deputy had no right to execute the person who died and it was not done intentionally in defense of oneself or others, and
3) the Deputy admits that it was done by his own negligence.

The Deputy could argue that it was legal to execute a suspect in custody, but I'm not sure on what justification. He could argue that it wasn't negligent to "accidentally" shoot the man to death, but it seems obvious that when exercising ordinary care Sheriff Deputies do not ordinarily mistake their firearm for a taser (or we would see this relatively frequently). In fact, every law enforcement officer I've spoken with on this issue was flabbergast that such an error was made.

Second Degree Manslaughter is a felony punishable by  
21 OS 722
Any person guilty of manslaughter in the second degree shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary not more than four (4) years and not less than two (2) years, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or both fine and imprisonment.
http://www.oscn.net/applications/OCISWeb/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=69321

- - -

I don't think the deputy is a villain. I don't think he did it on purpose. But I think having men who appear to "pay to play" Sheriff participating in the most dangerous elements of law enforcement is ill advised. What's more, when it goes bad because such an actor "makes a mistake" it is the public that is punished. Yes, the guy he shot appears to be a low-life, but the rights of a low-life are just as important as your rights are. If we do not protect the rights of SOME people because we deem them unworthy, then we cease protecting all rights to some degree.

The man should be charged with second degree manslaughter. Offer him a generous plea that sees him a convicted felon, resign from the Sheriff's office, forfeit his weapons, pay the $1k fine and court costs, and then a deferred sentence of how ever many years. No point wasting more money than this is already going to cost us to lock someone up who is neither a threat nor guilty of anything worse than horrible judgment. Or, he can press his luck and go to trial...

But it is hard to see how this isn't against the law somehow. If you or I were in a lawful struggle with someone and "accidentally" shot them to death, we'd be charged. Law enforcement is not above the law.
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TulsaMoon
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 01:32:21 pm »

All of my life I have ignored this type of police / criminal issues. I have always thought the police were right, criminal wrong, go on with life. But now I am a part of this, close to this and I can not ignore what's impossible to ignore. NOT all public servants are this way, MOST are good people doing a tough job with little respect. But now I see that some are terrible people, just beyond reproach. Also it is not the Tulsa Police Department we are speaking of.

When the family and media asked for video, TCSD said there was only ONE video, the Dollar General. This was untrue and proven, and there are more videos to come

When the deputy said he reached and drew the wrong weapon this too is untrue. He came out of his vehicle with a Pepper ball gun in one hand and his 357 in the other. How do you draw your taser then if BOTH of your hands already have weapons in them? Do you grow a third arm?

At the press conference for the TCSD they showed a BLACK taser next to a service revolver to show the difference and how easy it would be to make this mistake. First, the taser worn by the deputy was yellow, not black. The taser was worn up high on his chest and not on the belt. He did not have a sheriff issued service weapon but a 357 of his own and not the one shown in the press conference. At no time did he have his taser in his hand because he was armed exiting the vehicle.

He was not running with his hands in his pants as if he had a gun, as they say he was. He was in gym shorts and flip flops and running like an Olympic sprinter.

He was not on PCP as they claimed. He did not say " hey I'm on PCP " AS THEY CLAIMED!

When he is shot you hear the other officers act in complete indifference to it. They do not act in a manner to help, they say F! your breath. They sit him up and in less than 10 minutes he is dead, not dead at the hospital, not dead in route, dead there on the scene sitting up, handcuffed, gasping for air.

The next set of evidence to come out, very soon is going to make everyone sit up and go what the frack.

But let me ask one question here. This was a sting operation to buy a weapon. I myself asked why it was set up just 300 feet from a school. The answer is as follows.

Originally they wanted to meet him at his apartment but he refused to do that so in order to keep him comfortable we set it up at the dollar general.

In order to keep an illegal gun sale seller comfortable ( a felon ) we endangered the lives of hundreds of students just feet away. Does this make any sense to anyone?

I am mad that my friend was stupid and tried to sell a gun just when we thought he was on the right track.
I am mad that a 74 year old sheriffs officer didn't know the difference between a taser and a 357 ( as he said )
I am mad that TCSD is performing backflips to cover this up and lie at every turn.

I am just sick over the entire episode.
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patric
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 01:43:37 pm »

- The Sheriff claimed the man was on PCP. The man entered a truck, had a coherent conversation, and was subdued on the ground. That is not the behavior of someone on PCP.

It may be minutae, or another indicator of TCSO's credibility, but EMSA paramedics generally go to great pains to protect patient privacy and not run afoul of HIPAA, so I cant see them just casually relating an unseen "confession" that the man was "on PCP."
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patric
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2015, 01:50:05 pm »

All of my life I have ignored this type of police / criminal issues. I have always thought the police were right, criminal wrong, go on with life. But now I am a part of this, close to this and I can not ignore what's impossible to ignore. NOT all public servants are this way, MOST are good people doing a tough job with little respect. But now I see that some are terrible people, just beyond reproach. Also it is not the Tulsa Police Department we are speaking of.

When the family and media asked for video, TCSD said there was only ONE video, the Dollar General. This was untrue and proven, and there are more videos to come

When the deputy said he reached and drew the wrong weapon this too is untrue. He came out of his vehicle with a Pepper ball gun in one hand and his 357 in the other. How do you draw your taser then if BOTH of your hands already have weapons in them? Do you grow a third arm?

At the press conference for the TCSD they showed a BLACK taser next to a service revolver to show the difference and how easy it would be to make this mistake. First, the taser worn by the deputy was yellow, not black. The taser was worn up high on his chest and not on the belt. He did not have a sheriff issued service weapon but a 357 of his own and not the one shown in the press conference. At no time did he have his taser in his hand because he was armed exiting the vehicle.

He was not running with his hands in his pants as if he had a gun, as they say he was. He was in gym shorts and flip flops and running like an Olympic sprinter.

He was not on PCP as they claimed. He did not say " hey I'm on PCP " AS THEY CLAIMED!

When he is shot you hear the other officers act in complete indifference to it. They do not act in a manner to help, they say F! your breath. They sit him up and in less than 10 minutes he is dead, not dead at the hospital, not dead in route, dead there on the scene sitting up, handcuffed, gasping for air.

The next set of evidence to come out, very soon is going to make everyone sit up and go what the frack.

But let me ask one question here. This was a sting operation to buy a weapon. I myself asked why it was set up just 300 feet from a school. The answer is as follows.

Originally they wanted to meet him at his apartment but he refused to do that so in order to keep him comfortable we set it up at the dollar general.

In order to keep an illegal gun sale seller comfortable ( a felon ) we endangered the lives of hundreds of students just feet away. Does this make any sense to anyone?

I am mad that my friend was stupid and tried to sell a gun just when we thought he was on the right track.
I am mad that a 74 year old sheriffs officer didn't know the difference between a taser and a 357 ( as he said )
I am mad that TCSD is performing backflips to cover this up and lie at every turn.

I am just sick over the entire episode.

I also couldnt hear anyone yelling "TASER! TASER!" and was surprised local media went with the handouts instead of actually listening to the tape.
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Jammie
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2015, 01:53:09 pm »

They just had a news release that they're charging the reserve officer with second degree manslaughter.
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2015, 01:54:53 pm »

He does say taser, but it is extremely hard to hear. TCSD says he yelled it and the officers removed their hands from him right before he is shot. As you can see, that never happened.

As far as PCP, he was not on PCP. It's a made up story to make him super human fighting with police.
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2015, 02:24:31 pm »

And then Sheriff Glanz makes this stupid comment:

Quote
"He made an error," Glanz said. "How many errors are made in an operating room every week?"

Holy crap.
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2015, 02:27:45 pm »

But it is hard to see how this isn't against the law somehow. If you or I were in a lawful struggle with someone and "accidentally" shot them to death, we'd be charged. Law enforcement is not above the law.

Any insight as to how tort limited this might be for his family?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 06:52:07 pm by cannon_fodder » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2015, 04:25:55 pm »


- He was tapped to be part of the "capture" team on a felony gun bust
- The dead man appears to be guilty of illegally selling a firearm, which I believe is punishable by up to 10 years in jail (21 OS 1283) [not death]


- The TCSO response has been poor
- The Sheriff claims that the other deputies did not know the man was shot. That they were institutionally deaf or some such non-sense.
::BANG:: from 2 feet away from everything
D1: "Oh sh!t, I shot him. I'm sorry."
Man: "Damn, he shot me. He shot me! I can't breath!"
D2: "F*ck you're breathing" while kneeling on the back of the man that was shot from 2 feet away


- A Taser and a firearm may feel a lot alike (this is a design flaw in many opinions), but the firearm is generally to be kept on the dominant hand side with the taser on the side of the off hand. They weigh significantly different. The sites are different. It is a monumental error to confuse the two. Not just a small mistake. It would be like "accidentally" hitting the gas instead of the brake, the pedals look a lot alike... but if you confuse the two you are still at fault.


I don't think the deputy is a villain. I don't think he did it on purpose. But I think having men who appear to "pay to play" Sheriff participating in the most dangerous elements of law enforcement is ill advised. What's more, when it goes bad because such an actor "makes a mistake" it is the public that is punished. Yes, the guy he shot appears to be a low-life, but the rights of a low-life are just as important as your rights are. If we do not protect the rights of SOME people because we deem them unworthy, then we cease protecting all rights to some degree.



On the gun charges, it sounded like this is a repeat felony for Eric - selling a gun - so wouldn't they try to stack up the charges on him using both possession of firearm and trying to sell?   10 years per charge...

This is classic TCSO stuff - when I was in contact with both agencies a LOT - and even with the "quirks and oddities" of TPD - TPD was always the vastly more professional organization.  TCSO always had a larger population percentage wise of bullies and borderline gangsters than TPD.  (Lest one think I am just bashing law enforcement agencies, the FBI in Tulsa office was always very professional and more even handed - even they were ignoring one regarding certain parts of the law.  Federal Marshals were very good. Federally, JAG while not exactly LEO like police agency, was and I presume still is very good - that experience extends from the 70's to the earl 00's.)

True - disingenuous to think a deputy can't hear a gunshot at 2 feet.  I can always hear a .357 going off next to my ear.

Pay to play - "huge stupid" that has been tradition with them for a long, long time.


Excellent post - as always.



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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2015, 10:55:24 pm »

I was impressed that the Harris family isnt playing the race card, saying it wasnt an issue.

http://www.fox23.com/news/news/local/harris-family-releases-statement-deputy-involved-s/nksch/


But...
Its unfortunate Tulsa's history provides a perfect backdrop that viewers all over the world are seeing as evil and backwards:

The footage of Harris’s murder was captured by the type of camera of which President Obama wants 50,000 more. To what end? To better document the pornography of our genocide? To allow Tulsa officials to say with impunity that the next Bob Bates (the 73-year old pay-to-play volunteer cop who shot Harris) also meant to use a taser and not a gun? To write that off, too, as “a mistake,” with no further plans for investigation? (Tulsa law enforcement, it is worth noting, is charged to “protect and serve” a city which unleashed one of the most vicious attacks on black Americans in history; it also exists in a state which is trying to purge US history courses from public schools for teaching “what is bad about” America.)

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/13/white-supremacy-takes-the-breath-away-from-black-americans
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 12:41:27 pm by patric » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2015, 08:16:22 am »

It’s amazing the public ignorance that exists.  A friend on FB had posted that Harris was a lifelong thug and because he ran, he basically got what he deserved and Bates should not be charged.  One of the replies went so far as to say if it had been a white guy running no charges would have been filed.

He was subdued on the ground when he was shot, I don’t even really see the need for the taser at that point.

Oh the stupidity!
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2015, 08:43:05 am »

It’s amazing the public ignorance that exists.  A friend on FB had posted that Harris was a lifelong thug and because he ran, he basically got what he deserved and Bates should not be charged.  One of the replies went so far as to say if it had been a white guy running no charges would have been filed.

He was subdued on the ground when he was shot, I don’t even really see the need for the taser at that point.

Oh the stupidity!

I see alot of comments like that but a little more 'subtle'.

"Don't run from the police".

I wonder if any of the commenters have ever been restrained by police.  I have (way back when I was about 20 for looking like someone involved in a crime).  I didn't think about running but the cops didn't tackle me either.
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2015, 09:48:17 am »

Major clusterfark. They gave Bates the lowest possible charge they could politically afford. And the other officers skate? Outrageous.

Perhaps time for new leadership in that organization? Nothing like a good civil suit to precipitate that.
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2015, 10:25:12 am »

Major clusterfark. They gave Bates the lowest possible charge they could politically afford. And the other officers skate? Outrageous.

Perhaps time for new leadership in that organization? Nothing like a good civil suit to precipitate that.

Between these two threads, what im seeing is accidental shootings must happen a lot, we just dont know about them because they package it as something else.
http://www.tulsanow.org/forum/index.php?topic=20996.0


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TulsaMoon
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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2015, 01:51:36 pm »

I was impressed that the Harris family isnt playing the race card, saying it wasnt an issue.

http://www.fox23.com/news/news/local/harris-family-releases-statement-deputy-involved-s/nksch/


But...
Its unfortunate Tulsa's history provides a perfect backdrop that viewers all over the world are seeing as evil and backwards:

The footage of Harris’s murder was captured by the type of camera of which President Obama wants 50,000 more. To what end? To better document the pornography of our genocide? To allow Tulsa officials to say with impunity that the next Bob Bates (the 73-year old pay-to-play volunteer cop who shot Harris) also meant to use a taser and not a gun? To write that off, too, as “a mistake,” with no further plans for investigation? (Tulsa law enforcement, it is worth noting, is charged to “protect and serve” a city which unleashed one of the most vicious attacks on black Americans in history; it also exists in a state which is trying to purge US history courses from public schools for teaching “what is bad about” America.)

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/13/white-supremacy-takes-the-breath-away-from-black-americans


The family has been contacted by what we all see as race baiters in our society. They were told they were not welcome here and that this was not about race. This is about a man, a felon yes, committing yet again another crime when we had all hoped he was on the correct path, and a deputy that killed him. Color has nothing at all to do with it. The facts around the deputy and the TCSO is what is under suspicion. Let me also say that this family came together to pray for this deputy and his family and friends during this time, they know this is terrible for everyone involved.
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