The family of Tulsa County shooting victim Eric Harris is a little closer to getting justice for their loved one. Tulsa County, Oklahoma agreed to pay a $6 million settlement Friday that will close the Eric Harris estate’s excessive force lawsuit.
Then 73-year-old ex-Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Robert Bates shot Harris on April 2, 2015, during a gun sting. Video released of the shooting showed that Harris attempted to sell guns to an undercover Tulsa County police officer. Harris is seen leaving a vehicle and running away from police.
Once officers apprehend him, one kept a knee on Harris' head as others shouted obscenities at him. This is when Bates allegedly mistook his taser for a revolver and shot Harris.
According to Tusla World, the civil rights lawsuit claimed that Bates, who was a former insurance executive, was improperly trained and that former Sheriff Stanley Glanz turned “a blind eye to these dangers … to allow his friend and financial benefactor to ‘play cop’ in the streets of Tulsa County.” Bates was charged with second-degree manslaughter for the shooting, NBC News reports.
Bates' attorney told jurors that he is “somebody we should be proud of” but Harris' relatives think otherwise.
“I don’t have to call (Bates) a superhero; he’s a convicted felon,” Andre Harris said. “Now we’re going to pick up the pieces of our lives.”
Andre told Tulsa World that he will use the settlement to send Harris' son to college
Sheriff Vic Regalado, who was elected in 2016, said in a statement that settlement is the first step to initiate the healing process and bring closure to both parties.
“It’s in the best interest of all parties involved to resolve these claims at this time,” Regalado said. “I believe this decision will allow the process of healing to continue for the Harris family, the citizens of Tulsa County and the hard-working men and women of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.”