Eric Harris Family Demands Results Of TCSO Internal Affairs Investigation

Thursday, April 23rd 2015, 8:42 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa attorney is demanding the release of an internal affairs investigation that was conducted inside the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office on Reserve Deputy Bob Bates in 2009.

The attorney says the report shows problems with Bates' behavior and training, as CBS News reported Wednesday night. On Monday, Sheriff Stanley Glanz said Bates was cleared and no action was taken.

Glanz answered questions during his Monday news conference about an internal affairs investigation that was done of Reserve Deputy Bob Bates several years ago. He said it was led by then Undersheriff Brian Edwards.

"I believe they found there was no special treatment," said Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz.

The sheriff says no action was taken following that internal investigation. Bates has come under scrutiny since being charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of suspect Eric Harris on April 2, 2015, after Bates said he mistakenly fired his gun instead of his Taser during Harris' takedown after Harris was caught on tape selling a gun to an undercover deputy.

Harris' family has questioned Bates' training and donations to the sheriff's office.

"We knew he received special treatment from the beginning, just the public didn't know," said Andre Harris, brother of Eric Harris.

The attorney for Harris' family sent out a statement Thursday that says in part, "The sheriff's office should immediately release the report and all records generated in connection with the 2009 investigation."

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However, the state's open records law says, "A public body may keep personnel records confidential, which relate to internal personnel investigations and selection material for employment, hiring, appointments, promotion, demotion, discipline or resignation."

Bates' attorney, tells us, "I have not seen the report. Since there is a pending criminal case and likely civil suit, I would expect the parties could seek it through the rules and procedures of discovery. Demands by lawyers through the media are counterproductive and unprofessional."

The statement from the Harris family's attorney also says, the Harris family calls for the immediate resignation of Sheriff Glanz, Undersheriff Tim Albin and Major Tom Huckaby.

The sheriff's office told us, "We respect his right to free speech but neither of those three has any intention on resigning."

In the meantime, the judge randomly assigned to the Bates' case, wrote a letter to the attorneys, saying he is a former deputy of the sheriff's office, has known the sheriff 23 years, does not know Bates, has never vacationed with either man and has never accepted any gifts from either man. 

He said he took an oath to be fair and impartial, so if either side had any concerns, they need to let him know as soon as possible.

Read The Judge's Letter