Tulsa Officer Says 'I'm Sorry' After Fatally Shooting Eric Harris

Robert Bates, Eric Courtney Harris

Tulsa Officer Says 'I'm Sorry' After Fatally Shooting Eric Harris

Video shows cop "accidentally" pull gun instead of taser.

Published April 12, 2015

Graphic video of yet another police shooting of an unarmed Black man was released online Saturday (April 11), causing even more furor over police brutality. Eric Harris, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was fatally shot on April 2 by Reserve Deputy Robert Bates, 73, during an arrest. Bates claims the shooting was an accident, and that he intended to taser Harris, according to the New York Daily News.

But the minute-long clip captured on an officer's bodycam showing the pursuit of Harris tells a different story. Harris, who was reportedly in his 40s, attempted to flee from police on foot. Taken to the ground by an officer, Bates can be heard saying “taser,” before a gunshot is released. Bates is then heard saying “I shot him, I’m sorry.”


The truly disturbing portion of the video comes after Harris suffers the gunshot wound. Harris, screaming in pain, can be heard telling the officers “He shot me! He shot me, man. Oh, my god. I’m losing my breath.”

“F**k your breath. Shut the f**k up,” an officer responded as he held Harris down by the neck. Harris did not receive any aid for his wounds and was pronounced dead an hour later.

Police on the scene claim they were unaware that Harris had been shot, though it is clearly evident in the bodycam footage. Tulsa Police Sgt. Jim Clark claimed that Harris was “absolutely a threat when going down,” though he was unarmed, on foot and fleeing from police.

Tulsa Sheriff’s Capt. Billy McKelvey said that police “would not investigate the death unless the sheriff’s office asked them to, and they have not asked us to.”

According to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, Harris was apprehended for selling a weapon and ammunition to undercover cops.

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(Photos: Tusla County Sherriff's Office/ Reuters)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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