Via Lawrence O’Donnell, this should surprise no one:
Supervisors at the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office were ordered to falsify a reserve deputy’s training records, giving him credit for field training he never took and firearms certifications he should not have received, sources told the Tulsa World.
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.
Bates, 73, is accused of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Eric Harris during an undercover operation on April 2.
The sources’ claims are corroborated by records, including a statement by Bates after the shooting, that he was certified as an advanced reserve deputy in 2007.***
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.
The sheriff’s deputy that certified Bates has moved on to work for the Secret Service, Glanz said during the radio interview.
“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).”
Undersheriff Tim Albin was unavailable for comment Wednesday but in an earlier interview, Albin said he was unaware of any concerns expressed by supervisors about Bates’ training.
The Sheriff’s Office has released a summary listing training courses Bates had been given credit for but have not released documents showing which supervisors signed off on that training.
He rejected claims that Bates’ training records were falsified and that supervisors who refused to do so were transferred to less desirable assignments.***
Bates said in the statement that he had been involved in “at least 100 other” assignments, such as the undercover operation planned on April 2.
In that statement, Bates said he contacted a task force member on April 1 to ask if there was a “pending operation” he could assist with.
The task force member informed Bates of the plan to have an undercover officer buy a gun from Harris the following day.
Officials said Harris could have faced up to life in prison for selling the firearm because he had prior felony convictions.
During a briefing hours before the shooting, Bates said he was informed that Harris was “a bad son of a b—-” who had gang affiliations.
Wanna be tough guy bribed a poice department to get in on the action. Heads should roll and the charges need to be upgraded.