The police officer who shot Harris in the back claimed he thought he had a taser in his hand and not a gun, and he shot Harris by mistake.
|Eric Harris screams, "He shot me" and "I'm losing my breath" after getting shot in the back while on the ground. Police|
then let it be known that they couldn't care less about Harris. (Screen capture from video)
By Nick Chiles
Outrage is brewing in Oklahoma after Tulsa police released footage showing an unarmed Black man, Eric Harris, being shot by a volunteer sheriff’s deputy who claims he thought he was deploying his Taser. The video also shows police callously brutalizing him as he lay dying on the ground.
The shooting occurred on April 2 but was released on Friday after repeated calls by Eric Harris’ family for the video to be made public. The video is shocking both because it shows how a sheriff’s department volunteer, reserve deputy Robert Bates, 73, who is an insurance company executive, could be placed in a position where he could discharge his weapon—even by mistake—and take a man’s life, and also because it displayed the officers’ apparent disregard for Harris’ life after he had been shot.
The Tulsa footage comes in the midst of national outrage over the death of Walter Scott, who was killed by North Charleston officer Michael Slager with five shots to the back that were captured by a bystander’s cellphone video recording. Slager was charged with murder after the video was released, revealing that Slager was apparently lying about being in danger during a scuffle over his Taser and also him appearing to plant his Taser next to Scott’s body.
In the Tulsa video, as Harris lay on the ground with an officer’s knee pressed against his head, he can be heard yelling, “He shot me! He shot me, man. Oh, my God. I’m losing my breath.”
n officer can be heard responding, “F**k your breath. Shut the f**k up!”
Bates shouts “Taser! Taser!” before the sound of a gunshot can be heard.
“I shot him!” Bates says, dropping his gun. “I’m sorry.”
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