Okay, one could argue that Eric Harris might not have been a good man! He was shot in Tulsa on Thursday, April 2, 2015 by 73-year-old “reserve” deputy Robert Bates. Officially, Bates is a retiree.
Harris was fleeing the scene following a sting operation after reportedly trying to sell a 9mm pistol to undercover officers. As seen on the videotape, Bates shouted “Taser! Taser! before firing his gun into Harris who appeared to be on the ground at the time of the shooting. Just before the gunshot sound, a police officer tells Harris to roll over on his stomach. That’s when you hear the shot and reserve deputy Bates saying, “I shot him! I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Apparently Bates mistake his pistol for a taser.
With Harris on the ground, mortally wounded one police office has his knee pressed against Harris’ head. Harris pleads, “He shot me! He shot me, man. Oh, my god. I’m losing my breath!” “Fuck your breath,” a callously indifferent officer can be heard saying. “Shut the fuck up!”
Harris was unarmed at the time of the shooting. He was a convicted felon however, having served time for assault and battery on an officer. But does that mean common human decency need not apply knowing that the man was shot, laying on the ground and complaining that he could not breath? (That “I cant breathe” thing sounds familiar!)
District Attorney Stephen Kunzweiler’s office in Tulsa said second degree manslaughter charges were filed against reserve deputy Robert Charles “Bob” Bates, 73, in the shooting death of Harris. “Mr. Bates is charged with Second-Degree Manslaughter involving culpable negligence. Oklahoma law defines culpable negligence as ‘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,'” Kunzweiler said in a statement.