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Video Released in Fatal Shooting in Which Cop Thought He Was Grabbing Taser

© Flickr / Tony WebsterPolice line at night
Police line at night - Sputnik International
Last week’s horrifying story of a Tulsa, Oklahoma reserve deputy ‘inadvertently’ shooting and killing a suspect by dislodging his gun instead of his Taser has come back into the spotlight today: a video capturing the alarming events has been released by Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office this weekend.

A camera hidden on the dashboard of an undercover policeman’s truck was used to film an undercover sting operation. The video, used for evidentiary purposes against Eric Courtney Harris, a convicted felon, caught him selling a semiautomatic pistol to an undercover cop in a parking lot outside of a Dollar General Store.

However, the video captured far more than just the illegal exchange.  The first minute of the released video shows the suspect getting into the passenger seat of the truck, pulling out the pistol from his backpack and briefly chatting to the undercover cop about the gun. When a car full of uniformed policemen pulled up alongside the truck, the camera kept rolling.  

It is at this point that chaos ensues, and it was all captured on film. The video shows Harris frantically jumping out of the passenger seat and feeling from the officers, who pursue him on foot.  Another camera, attached to an officer’s person, picks up the chase, showing him tackle the suspect to the ground.  We hear an officer call “Taser! Taser!”  The loud bang of a gun is heard, not a Taser.  

The first camera, the one inside the undercover policeman’s truck, later films two officers conversing about the incident, and amidst the swearing, one tells the other, “He thought it was his Taser.”

Robert Bates, 73, was the reserve Deputy who accidentally shot and killed the suspect.  When someone called out “Taser! Taser!”, deputy Bates thought he had pulled out his Taser, but inadvertently shot his gun.  He is now on administrative leave according to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office. 

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