Former Reserve Deputy Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison For Killing Of Unarmed Black Man In 2015  

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Former Oklahoma reserve deputy Robert Bates has been sentenced for the killing of an unarmed Black man in 2015, but the details of his sentencing are disappointing to many who followed the case.

Black Lives Matters Founders Open Up On the Birth of the Movement

The 74-year-old former Tulsa PD employee faced a slew of criticism from the media and the Black community after claiming he mistook his revolver for his stun gun when he discharged the weapon and fatally shot Eric Courtney Harris in the back during a pursuit in April of last year. Bates was reportedly pursuing Harris in response to a sting operation set up to catch Harris illegally selling a firearm. According to CNN, Harris ran as deputies arrived to arrest him, which eventually led to Bates firing his weapon.

Jesse Williams Chronicles ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement in Powerful Documentary

Related: Officer Who Killed Akai Gurley Will Not Serve Any Prison Time

A video of the incident hears Bates exclaim, "Oh! I shot him! I'm sorry!" seconds after Harris goes down. Bates worked for the Tulsa Police Department for one year back in the '60s and had been a "reserve deputy" since 2008 at the time of the shooting, causing many to question why he was deemed qualified to hold the deputy position in the first place.

Bates was charged with second-degree manslaughter and received the "maximum sentence" of four years during a hearing on Tuesday.

Related: New York Prosecutor Will Not Recommend Prison Time for Officer Who Killed Akai Gurley

 

WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.

Read More
Filed under: News