Group Gathers In Downtown Tulsa To Protest Fatal Shooting

Tuesday, April 14th 2015, 11:42 pm
By: News On 6

The phrase that was made so famous in Ferguson, Missouri could be heard in downtown Tulsa Tuesday night as about a hundred people joined in changing “Hands up, don't shoot.”

People protested the shooting and killing of suspected illegal gun dealer Eric Harris.

Reserve Deputy Bob Bates turned himself in Tuesday after being charged with 2nd degree manslaughter.

4/14/2015 Related Story: Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Charged With Manslaughter Bonds Out Of Jail

Nearly 100 people walked from the courthouse down to the sheriff's office, chanting things like, "No justice, no peace."

Harris' family is also on the hunt for justice, wanting an apology from the sheriff's office.

Protesters marched Tulsa streets Tuesday night, some for black lives, others against police brutality; each voicing their disgust with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.

"It's time to hold law enforcement responsible for their use and sometimes abuse of power," protester Ray Davis said.

Protester Paul Tay said, "Why are black guys getting shot down more than white people? Or Asian people, for that matter."

With his head down and Attorney Clark Brewster by his side, Bates turned himself in Tuesday and bonded out in a matter of minutes.

The 73-year-old reserve deputy maintains he went for his Taser, but grabbed his gun and shot and killed Harris.

Tulsa County sheriff's deputies have a mandatory retirement age of 63, but there's no mandatory retirement age for reserve deputies.

Brewster said Bates' 2nd degree manslaughter charge is unwarranted, and so are the allegations that Bates paid off the sheriff's office to become a reserve deputy.

His list of donations to the department includes six vehicles and more than $10,000 in equipment.

"They've taken the fact that this man has been good to the community, and has been benevolent to the community, and has been a great citizen for our town and made it something bad or sinister," Brewster said.

Harris' family released a statement Tuesday concerning the protest, saying they appreciate the community support and asked that they join in prayers for justice, peace and unity.

4/14/2015 Related Story: Harris Family Releases Statement After Tulsa Reserve Deputy Bonds Out

“I'm for justice. It's not about race. It's about doing right," protester James Johnson said.

Protesters also advocated for all law enforcement to have body cameras, because, as they said, they tell the truth.

Brewer said we will hear from Bates at when the case is closed.