Tulsa County Agrees To Pay $6 Million For Eric Harris Excessive Force Lawsuit

Tulsa County Oklahoma offi­cials set­tled a civ­il rights law­suit on Friday when it agreed to pay the estate of Eric Harris $6 mil­lion after he was shot and killed in 2015 by a man so rich, coun­ty offi­cials allowed him to lit­er­al­ly play a game of cops and rob­bers.

The case made nation­al head­lines when Tulsa County offi­cers invit­ed 73-year-old Reserve Deputy Robert Bates along for a gun sting meant to ensnare Harris. Harris was chased down and sub­dued by offi­cers when Bates, a wealthy insur­ance exec­u­tive with an affin­i­ty for law enforce­ment, shot Harris in the armpit. Bates claimed that he mis­took his gun for his Taser, but was sen­tenced to four years in prison for sec­ond-degree manslaugh­ter.

Bates was dep­u­tized as a reserve offi­cer by his a fish­ing part­ner and bene­fac­tor, Tulsa County Sherrif Stanley Glanz. Gates had donat­ed vehi­cles and equip­ment items to the Sherrif’s Department and gave mon­ey to Glanz’s polit­i­cal cam­paigns, serv­ing as the cam­paign man­ag­er dur­ing Glanz’s 2012 run for Sherrif.

The Harris fam­i­ly law­suit sued Bates, Glanz, and four oth­er offi­cers for exces­sive force and civ­il rights vio­la­tions. The civ­il suit alleged Glanz of “turned a blind eye to these dan­gers … to allow his friend and finan­cial bene­fac­tor to ‘play cop’ in the streets of Tulsa County.” It also charges that Bates was improp­er­ly trained.

After the Harris shoot­ing, an inter­nal inves­ti­ga­tion found records that showed Bates’ train­ing records were fal­si­fied and that the County pres­sured inves­ti­ga­tors to deem the use of force “jus­ti­fi­able.”

The $6 mil­lion set­tle­ment clos­es the civ­il case and bars the Harris estate from fil­ing indi­vid­ual suits against the defen­dants in the case. The mon­ey will be paid out over three years, bring­ing the total cost of Bates’ cop cos­play to $6.6 mil­lion for the cit­i­zens of Tulsa County, accord­ing to the Tulsa World.

It’s in the best inter­est of all par­ties involved to resolve these claims at this time,” Tulsa County Sherrif Vic Regalado said. “I believe this deci­sion will allow the process of heal­ing to con­tin­ue for the Harris fam­i­ly, the cit­i­zens of Tulsa County and the hard-work­ing men and women of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.”

Glanz even­tu­al­ly resigned his office after he was charged with mis­de­meanor crimes in a sub­se­quent inves­ti­ga­tion.

Robert Bates served 497 days of his four-year sen­tence and was released in 2016.

Eric Harris is still dead. https://​www​.the​root​.com/​t​u​l​s​a​-​c​o​u​n​t​y​-​a​g​r​e​e​s​-​t​o​-​p​a​y​-​6​-​m​i​l​l​i​o​n​-​f​o​r​-​e​r​i​c​-​h​a​r​r​i​s​-​e​-​1​8​2​3​6​6​9​726