FBI: Civil Rights Investigation Into Harris Death Not Warranted

Monday, April 20th 2015, 5:53 pm
By: News On 6

An FBI investigation has cleared the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office of any wrongdoing in the death of suspect Eric Harris.

Prosecutors charged Reserve Deputy Bob Bates with manslaughter in that case after he said he mistakenly fired his gun instead of his Taser.

Tulsa County Sheriff, Stanley Glanz held a news conference Monday where, after first apologizing to the family of Eric Harris for their loss, he answered dozens of questions for 30 minutes.

Follow The TCSO Reserve Deputy Shooting Controversy

He said most of the negative information that's come out against his office has been from an attorney who's sued him repeatedly and from people the sheriff has disciplined or fired in the past.

Glanz said he's suspended the work of the violent crimes task force until a thorough investigation can be completed. He also reassigned the two deputies on the videotape doing the takedown of Harris - for their own safety - saying they and their families have received threats.

He said the outside review of the case by the FBI is now complete and no Civil Rights Investigation is necessary.

"The FBI has completed their investigation and found no wrongdoing at the sheriff's office. Of course, they look at civil rights violations," Glanz stated.

4/20/2015 Related Story: Tulsa County Sheriff Glanz: No Plans To Resign

The sheriff said he's been friends with Bates for 25 years and has gone on a few vacations with him, but has also vacationed with some of his staff and other reserve deputies.

He said none of that affected his decision to let Bates be a reserve deputy and he understands the district attorney filing a manslaughter charge.

"I agree with what the DA has done," Glanz said.

The sheriff said they will review all their policies, but their policies have routinely been inspected by a national agency and meet national standards.

Glanz previously announced he's not running for re-election, but also said he doesn't plan to give in to those now calling for his resignation.

"I've been elected seven times by this community,” he said. “Received a lot of support since this occurred, a lot of people call me and tell me, do not resign."

Glanz got emotional when he spoke about how he's tried to help his employees get through, sharing his philosophy with his employees, as a way to help them maintain the proper perspective.

"I have priorities in my life, God, number two, family and then, being sheriff," he said.

When it comes to Bates' training records, the sheriff said he is not aware of any of them being falsified and said state law allows them to destroy records after seven years, so if any are missing, it's not part of a cover-up.

4/20/2015 Related Story: Harris Family Attorney Addresses TCSO Reserve Deputy's Records