New Complaint Alleges 'Systematic Problems' Against TCSO, Bates, More

Monday, June 29th 2015, 11:52 pm
By: News On 6

Monday, Tulsa County Commissioners decided to allow public funds to pay for Sheriff Stanley Glanz's legal fees, but there's another development involving the sheriff's office.

A second addendum has been filed in a civil case against the sheriff, commissioners, Bob Bates and others. It's also filed against the deputies who held Eric Harris down after Bates shot him and the jail's health services provider.

There are a lot of allegations - including another incident in which Bates tased another unarmed suspect.

In the civil case, Attorney Dan Smolen lists what he calls "systemic problems" in the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, beginning with the medical care provided to inmates at the Tulsa County Jail, saying the armor medical staff is "undertrained and inadequately supervised," resulting in "bad medical outcomes."

Special Coverage: TCSO Reserve Deputy Shooting Controversy

Smolen cites one inmate, in particular, Plaintiff Scott Birdwell.

"He was denied medical treatment, and as a result of his denied medical treatment, suffered much more serious complications due to his injuries," Smolen said.

The addendum then claims Glanz is "routinely and knowingly" violating reserve deputy policies, specifically with the sheriff's friend, Bob Bates - now charged with second-degree manslaughter - for grabbing his gun instead of his Taser and shooting and killing Eric Harris in April.

"It's not just an inmate who's at risk it's any citizen who's on the streets of Tulsa is at risk," said Smolen.

The addendum says, just two months before Harris's death, Bates tased another suspect - one of the plaintiffs, Terry Byrum.

“Byrum was lying on his stomach, handcuffed, unarmed and not resisting...Bates...placed his foot on the back of Byrum's head...One of the officers stated, ‘tase him,' and Bates did.”

The addendum says Glanz "took no discernible corrective action" against Bates.

Eric Harris' brother, Andre, said, "Honestly I just kind of was like, 'What more will come out?' in all honesty because I think more will come out."

Smolen lists the causes of action as "negligence, cruel and unusual punishment, supervisor liability, excessive use of force, indifference to serious medical needs," and more.

"I mean, I just shake my head," Andre Harris said.

The plaintiffs are seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

We have asked repeatedly for an interview with the sheriff or someone from his office. Instead, one of the sheriff's attorneys, Terry Simonson, sent us a comment:

"It's the sheriff's office policy not to comment on yet another baseless and frivolous lawsuit trying to get the taxpayers money until we have been served the papers and have had time to review them."