Stateside Oklahoma: Training Documents for the Reserve Deputy Who Killed Eric Harris Were Reportedly Falsified

Robert Bates Reserve Deputy

Robert Bates
Reserve Deputy

By Elaine Magliaro

Tulsa World reported this morning that supervisors at the Tulsa Sheriff’s Office were ordered to falsify training records for Robert Bates, the reserve deputy who accidentally shot Eric Harris with a gun instead of a Taser on April 2nd. The State Medical Examiner said that Harris was shot in the right axilla. He died after being transported to the Tulsa hospital.

Eric Harris

Eric Harris

Sources told Tulsa World that the falsified records gave Bates “credit for field training he never took and firearms certifications he should not have received.”

Tulsa World said, “At least three of reserve deputy Robert Bates’ supervisors were transferred after refusing to sign off on his state-required training, multiple sources speaking on condition of anonymity told the World.”

Tulsa World reported that the sources’ claims were “corroborated by records, including a statement by Bates after the shooting, that he was certified as an advanced reserve deputy in 2007.”

Bates reportedly provided a statement to the sheriff’s office following the fatal shooting of Harris. In his statement, Bates noted that he had taken “active shooter training” from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Lisa Allen, the “chief media relations office for the sheriff’s office there, said they had no record of Bates attending their training.” She said that training “is only available to members of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, meaning Bates would not have been eligible.”

Tulsa World:

An attorney for Harris’ family also raised questions about the authenticity of Bates’ training records.

Additionally, Sheriff Stanley Glanz told a Tulsa radio station this week that Bates had been certified to use three weapons, including a revolver he fired at Harris. However, Glanz said the Sheriff’s Office has not been able to find the paperwork on those certifications.

Evidently, no one has been able to locate “the paperwork for those certifications the Sheriff’s Department said Robert Bates earned by completing hundreds of hours of training.” Crooks and Liars said, “It seems to have mysteriously disappeared right at the point where he mistook his gun for a Taser and shot a man.”


Dylan Goforth, one of the two Tulsa World reporters on the story, said the paper start[ed] hearing “almost immediately” from different sources that Bates’ training records had been falsified.

The newspaper said the Sheriff’s Office provided a list of the courses Bates received credit for, but did not give details such as the names of the supervisors who signed off on the training.

Ziva Branstetter, the other Tulsa World reporter, said she has been asking for the names of the supervisors involved.

Branstetter told CNN’s New Day, “You would think the sheriff’s office, if in fact there has been no pressure applied, no falsification of records, that they would be forthcoming with these documents.” She added, “We’ve asked for them. They’ve said they don’t believe they’re public records.”

The sheriff’s deputy who signed off on Bates’ training and certification reportedly has a new job now. During a radio interview, Glanz said that she had moved on to work for the Secret Service.

Sheriff Glanz “vouched for Bates’ weapons training in a podcast interview, although he said records related to that training were missing.” Glanz told local radio station KFAQ, “Bob went out and qualified with three different weapons with an instructor.”

Tulsa World:

“We can’t find the records that she supposedly turned in,” Glanz said. “So we are going to talk to her to find out if for sure he’s been qualified with those (weapons).”

Bates, 73, is a wealthy insurance executive. He was charged Monday with second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Harris during an undercover operation. According to Tulsa World, Bates is a one of more than a hundred wealthy donors who serve as reserve deputies.

Maj. Shannon Clark said, “There are lots of wealthy people in the reserve program. Many of them make donations of items. That’s not unusual at all.”

Clark told CNN that he was skeptical of the newspaper report. In an email that he sent to the news outlet, Clark wrote: “Just keep in mind that the Tulsa World reporter cannot validate her sources and claims anonymity, which leaves us skeptical that her claims are unsubstantiated and deceptive.”

Sheriff Glantz and Bates are reportedly longtime friends.

Raw: Okla. Officer Shoots Gun Instead of Taser (Associated Press)


Sources: Supervisors told to falsify reserve deputy’s training records (Tulsa World)

Sheriff’s Office: Reserve deputy who fired fatal shot was among ‘lots of’ wealthy donors in reserve program (Tulsa World)

Report: Sheriffs Falsified Training Documents For Eric Harris’ Shooter (Crooks and Liars)

Pay-to-Play Tulsa Deputy Mistakes Gun For Taser, Kills Unarmed Black Man (Crooks and Liars)

Deputy charged in Tulsa shooting (CNN)

Oklahoma Deputy Sheriff Robert Bates Charged With Manslaughter in Eric Harris Shooting Death (NBC News)

Report: Bosses Falsified Training For Oklahoma Deputy Who Killed Black Man (TPM)

Report: Tulsa sheriff’s employees were told to forge Bates’ training records (CNN)


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15 Responses to Stateside Oklahoma: Training Documents for the Reserve Deputy Who Killed Eric Harris Were Reportedly Falsified

  1. bron98 says:

    wealthy boys and their toys, what a fool. They make some money and they think they are made and finished.

    I knew a guy, an optometrist, who made a bunch of money in Amway, he thought he was a land developer and lost his ass.

  2. Bob Kauten says:

    I won’t stand for any doubt of the qualifications of even reserve dogs.
    By the way (BTW), could we convert this fable to using raptors, instead of dogs? It’d be so much more interesting.
    And…in the bible, nowhere does it say that Jesus wasn’t a raptor. I saw that on the interwebz, which is where I learned everything I know.

  3. pete says:

    I guess that solves the whole “virgin birth” thing.

  4. Bob Kauten says:

    Yeah, if yer a virgin, how’d you give birth to a raptor?

  5. rafflaw says:

    The Sheriff’s department and the city need to get their checkbooks out, because they are going to need them.

  6. bigfatmike says:

    “Yeah, if yer a virgin, how’d you give birth to a raptor?”

    Ummmm… parthenogenetic reproduction?

  7. Elaine M. says:

    ‘Buy-a-Badge’ Programs Are a Recipe for Disaster, and Eric Harris Paid the Price

    Bob Bates’ badge looked real enough, but the man wearing it had less than half the training of his fellow deputies, far less accountability to his supervisors, and a gun that was just as deadly. Real guns loaded with real bullets, but behind a badge that was bought rather than earned. This is a big part of the reason that Eric Harris is dead today.

    Bob Bates, a reserve deputy in the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office and a wealthy 73-year-old insurance executive, shot Eric Harris accidentally while he was supposedly reaching for his Taser. Although Bob Bates is being charged with manslaughter, he didn’t commit this act in a silo. He was placed in an extremely dangerous situation when he was armed and unprepared.

    Who placed him there? The Tulsa County sheriff.

    Charging Bates with manslaughter, albeit important, doesn’t properly address the root cause of what happened to Eric Harris. What we should be talking about are the unofficial “Buy-a-Badge” programs that exist all over Oklahoma.

    Buy-a-Badge programs effectively deputize random civilians to participate in law enforcement action. These programs exist in both Tulsa and Oklahoma counties. To be clear, we’re not talking about all-volunteer reserve programs. Getting rid of those is akin to eliminating volunteer fire departments — we need community members to participate in fostering safe and healthy communities, and many reserve deputies and police serve honorably and faithfully.

    However, there are sheriffs who pervert the reservist laws by using their discretion to name political allies, friends, big donors, and cronies as reserve deputies and then basically let them do whatever they want with little or no accountability. This process invariably attracts wealthy enthusiasts who want to play cop. To them this means lots of driving fast, sirens blaring, and pulling weapons. A reserve deputy should never be in a special operations position with a violent crime task force like Bates was, no matter how many cars he’s donated to the sheriff’s office or how many junkets he’s paid for.

  8. bettykath says:

    “The sheriff’s deputy who signed off on Bates’ training and certification reportedly has a new job now. During a radio interview, Glanz said that she had moved on to work for the Secret Service.”

    So someone without integrity has been accepted by the Secret Service. No wonder the SS (where have I seen that acronym before?) has problems.

    Kudos to the supervisors who took the transfers rather than falsify documents.

  9. pete9999 says:

    After all these years I’d love to see the videos of “cops” that didn’t air.

  10. Mike Spindell says:

    “wealthy boys and their toys, what a fool. They make some money and they think they are made and finished.”


    I agree. This guy was rich and now he wanted the even greater power of carrying a gun with a badge. One can see him proudly prancing in his uniform.

  11. Mike Spindell says:

    Oh….look…..Eric Harris seems to be a Black man. Just another unfortunate coincidence I suppose.

  12. Wait! It gets worse . . .

    150 cops, population 300: pay-to-play policing, from Tulsa to Kid Rock’s town

    The words “‘accident’ waiting to happen” do come to mind.

  13. Pingback: Stateside Oklahoma: Tulsa Undersheriff Tim Albin Resigns Following Release of Report on Reserve Deputy Robert Bates | Flowers For Socrates

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