Cop Convicted in Death of Unarmed Black Man

by gossamer1234 –

bates harris

I will keep this fairly brief.

I’m sure many of you have heard of the Eric Harris case. An unarmed black man shot and killed by a “reserve” deputy.

To be clear, Eric Harris was no saint. He had a rap sheet and was the victim of a sting gone awry.  He was caught on camera illegally selling guns and fled when deputies arrived.  He was eventually caught and cuffed. That’s when the crap hit the fan.  Elderly Robert Bates (72 at the time) shot the handcuffed Harris.

Well, he was charged with 2nd degree manslaughter and faced a maximum of four years in prison.

He faced a jury of his peers. He was lucky enough that somehow the jury ended up all white.

Today he was found guilty, jury recommends 4 years in prison.

Elderly white man. Dead scary black man with a record. All white jury. Deep red Oklahoma. Guilty?

Hell, I was convinced that the folks on the jury would fall for the horse crap that the defense attorney fed them.  That Harris didn’t die from getting shot.


This was just latest in the fallout of this shooting.

Media and concerned citizens, particularly We the People Oklahoma demanded investigations and accountability. And they got it.  It was a great example of the black community coming together peacefully and forcing change through smart and effective rallies and good old-fashioned organizing.  Their petition is pretty much what led to this whole thing. It exposed corruption in the Sheriff’s office and demanded, and received justice for a man effectively sentenced to death for running from cops. Of course it won’t be spun this way. It likely won’t be spun at all, just ignored.  Black people forcing peaceful change ain’t as sexy as black folks rioting when jurors acquit a cop of killing an unarmed black male.

Among what was discovered due to this tragedy:

TCSO engaged in “Pay to Play” policing where rich men could play cops.

TCSO falsified records regarding Bates’ training and qualifications.

Tulsa Sheriff Stanley Glanz was forced to resign after serving as the county’s top cop more than 25 years.

And so much more I can’t even think of off the top of my head.

I am still shocked at the outcome.


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos