Tulsa sheriff’s official resigns after fatal shooting of Eric Harris
The No. 2 official at the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office resigned on Monday, days after release of a report in which subordinates said they felt pressured to support the training records of a reserve deputy who fatally shot a black suspect in early April.
Undersheriff Tim Albin’s resignation follows the release of documents into the investigation of Reserve Deputy Robert Bates, 73, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Eric Harris, 44, during an arrest on April 2.
Bates, a white insurance executive, has said he mistakenly fired his handgun instead of his Taser.
The shooting has prompted investigations into whether Bates received special treatment due to his donations to the department and his personal ties to Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz.
Albin is mentioned multiple times in a memo from a 2009 internal investigation published on Friday by the Tulsa World newspaper that concluded Bates’ training was incomplete and he had received special treatment.
The memo seemed to contradict Glanz’s statements a week ago that the investigation concluded Bates had received no special treatment.
“Given the gravity of the current situation and the need to go a different direction with our leadership and management, he agrees with me that it is time for a change,” Glanz said in a statement. Albin is retiring on Friday.
Glanz said he would continue to examine the department and expected more changes in the coming days.
Harris’ death is one in a series of shootings that have raised questions about police use of force around the country, particularly against minorities.
Bates’ attorney has said Bates, who has pleaded not guilty, has received hundreds of hours of training since 2009.
On Friday, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said he had contacted outside agencies about a possible investigation into the sheriff’s office after receiving information that went beyond the scope of the manslaughter case.
Kunzweiler did not say what the new information was.
(Reporting by Heide Brandes in Oklahoma City and Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Editing by Eric Beech and Sandra Maler)