TULSA, Okla. – A law enforcement report shows several members of an Oklahoma sheriff's department raised serious concerns years ago about the performance and training of a volunteer deputy now charged in the fatal shooting of a restrained suspect.
Lawyers for Eric Harris' family on Friday released a Tulsa County Sheriff's Office memo outlining an investigation into Robert Bates.
Bates says he confused his handgun for his stun gun during an April 2 sting and has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter in Harris' death.
The 2009 report says Bates had inadequate training for a role as an advanced reserve deputy. He had joined the Sheriff's Office less than a year earlier.
The report found that Bates received special treatment that included department leaders' ignoring complaints about his performance.