It seems America can scarcely get through a week without a new video of perceived police misconduct surfacing and one can only think the trend will continue as each incident only serves to reinforce the notion that law enforcement should everywhere and always be monitored if not by civilian cell phone footage then at least by dash cams that actually work and perhaps by body cams as well.
On the heels of the South Carolina “confrontation” which led to the shooting death of Walter Scott, we get a new video out of Tulsa in which one Eric Courtney Harris — who apparently sold an illegal firearm to undercover agents and who CNN compassionately describes as a “possibly PCP-addled felon” — is “accidentally” shot by a 73-old reserve deputy who apparently could not distinguish between his Taser and his glock. “Oh, I shot him, sorry” the deputy says although the other officers don’t seem to share the deputy’s remorse because when Harris (whose head is pressed between the ground and someone’s knee) says “I’m losing my breath,” the officers let him know, in no uncertain terms, that they are not concerned with his breathing.
Here’s CNN to explain:
The reserve deputy who shot a suspect with his firearm rather than his stun gun, and another deputy who can be heard cursing at the suspect after he was shot, were not in their normal states of mind because of the elevated stress of apprehending the suspect, according to a Tulsa, Oklahoma, investigator.
Tulsa Police Sgt. Jim Clark, who has been brought in to review the case, said Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Robert Bates, 73, "inadvertently" shot Eric Courtney Harris after Harris -- a possibly PCP-addled felon who had days prior sold methamphetamine to an undercover officer -- ran from authorities after trying to sell an illegal handgun during an undercover sting.
As deputies tried to handcuff Harris, Bates arrived with a pepper spray gun in hand. He warned his fellow deputies he was going to use a Taser on the suspect, but instead, he fired a single gunshot -- and immediately apologized, Clark said, citing a recently released video.
Clark attributed Bates' actions to a phenomenon known as "slip and capture." An example is when someone who drives a car with a manual transmission gets behind the wheel of a car with an automatic transmission. The driver will press her or his left foot down when stopping abruptly, even though there's no clutch pedal, he said.
And here’s what happened: