The sheriff of Tulsa County has been indicted on charges of misconduct and will step down, nearly six months after a 74-year-old reserve deputy fatally shot a man when he mistook his gun for a Taser, according to The New York Times.
A grand jury on Wednesday recommended that Sheriff Stanley Glanz be removed from office following a probe into the April 2 shooting of Eric C. Harris by the reserve deputy, Robert C. Bates, who was a friend of the sheriff’s, the report says.
The panel charged Mr. Glanz with two misdemeanors, for refusing to release a 2009 report that raised questions about Mr. Bates’s fitness for duty, and for false expense reimbursement.
Critics have charged that Mr. Glanz broke the rules to allow an unqualified friend operate largely unsupervised as an armed reserve deputy, endangering the lives of others, and intimidated the people under him into going along.
The Times says Bates, an insurance broker, “worked briefly as a police officer in the 1960s, led the sheriff’s last re-election campaign and had donated expensive equipment to the sheriff’s office, including vehicles.”
We’re pleased that investigators were able to circumvent the sheriff’s obstructions and hold him accountable for his actions instead of blaming the victim. Too often in cases of police violence, victims get blamed in cover-ups for bad training and tactics. We hope other cities and states follow Tulsa’s lead.