What's with a 73-year old fart playing cop in Tulsa. OK and being given a pass even when he can't pass a basic gun training exercise? The evidence now is that Robert Bates, who "accidentally" pulled out his .44 instead of a taser and killed a fleeing suspect had no more business behind a badge sporting any weapon than a blind old guy behind the wheel of a car.
Look, no one is saying the guy (Eric Harris) was an angel, so let's leave that out! No red herrings or baseless arguments deflecting attention from the real issue. Which is that no fleeing suspect deserves to be executed with one loony play cop being the judge, jury and executioner
A CBS News investigation reported this morning ('Early Show') revealed that Bates' level of training and lack of qualifications was raised by numerous other officials and real cops. The CBS investigation found in particular:
- High ranking members of the Sheriff's office gave Bates special treatment and intimidated subordinates to do the same
- An internal investigation by the Tulsa County Sheriff's office found that Robert Bates had only received a fraction of the training for the advanced reserve deputy program.
- He was still allowed to operate with nearly the same powers as a full time deputy.
- Training officers were asked to alter Bates' records to make it appear he had completed his required training when he had not.
- One training officer told investigators he signed off on the altered documents because he was afraid he would be punished by a transfer to a less desirable job.
- Two other training officers who refused to falsify records for Bates were transferred.
- Numerous other red flags were raised by training officers and other officials almost as soon as he joined the force.
- When Bates was unable to qualify at the gun range a decision to suspend Bates was reversed by supervisors.
- Deputies described Bates' behavior in the field as "scary" - meaning he didn't know what he was doing half the time
- Complainers were told by supervisors to stop messing with Bates because "he does a lot for the county"
So why the hell was this incompetent turkey allowed to play real life cop to the extent of even packing dangerous heat? Well, because he bought his way to be cop by donating cars and other largesse to the Tulsa Sheriff's office including Sheriff Stanley Glantz - who'd been his bosom buddy for over 40 years.
Demonstrators in Tulsa yesterday called for this yard fowl to step down, and they are correct. Accepting pay to allow an incompetent to play .....cop....ought to get any so-called official busted.
We have enough problems with rogue cops making negative headlines now (including in Baltimore - breaking Freddy Gray's back) without the spectacle of pay to play cop mutts running wild.
If the Tulsa Sheriff's Office or any other needs new equipment, here's a revolutionary thought: Get your damned city councils to RAISE TAXES! But don't do rent a cops because they're willing to donate equipment in order to play and carry real weapons - which they're not even qualified to use!