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Police video shows killing of black Oklahoma suspect

'I shot him. I'm sorry': Video records white deputy's comment after black man's fatal shooting

Police video shows killing of black Oklahoma suspect

TULSA, Oklahoma (AP) -- A man can be heard apologizing and admitting to shooting a person in a video that documents the killing of a black suspect by a white law enforcement officer in Oklahoma.

Police have said that a 73-year-old reserve sheriff's deputy, Robert Bates, thought he was holding a stun gun, not his handgun, when he fired at 44-year-old Eric Harris in the April 2 incident.

It's the second time in a week that a videotaped shooting of a black man has provoked an outcry in the U.S.

In South Carolina, a white police officer is facing murder charges in the shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, who was unarmed. The officer, Michael Slager, initially said Scott was shot after a tussle over his Taser, but video taken by a witness showed Scott being shot at eight times as he ran away.

Last year, protests erupted around the country over the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City.

The video of the Oklahoma shooting, shot by deputies with sunglass cameras and released Friday at the request of the victim's family, shows a deputy chase and tackle Harris, whom they said tried to sell an illegal gun to an undercover officer. A deputy is heard telling Harris, "I need you to roll on your stomach." A woman can be heard saying, "Stop fighting."

As the deputy subdues Harris on the ground, a gunshot rings out and a man says: "Oh, I shot him. I'm sorry."

Harris screams: "He shot me. Oh, my God," and a deputy replies: "You f---ing ran. Shut the f--- up."

When Harris says he's losing his breath, a deputy replies, "F--- your breath."

Harris was treated by medics at the scene and died in a hospital.

Tulsa County sheriff's officials said Bates believed he was holding a Taser and intended only to incapacitate Harris when the fatal shot was fired.

The family said in a statement that it was "saddened, shocked, confused and disturbed."

"Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of all of this is the inhumane and malicious treatment of Eric after he was shot," the family wrote. "These deputies treated Eric as less than human. They treated Eric as if his life had no value."

A lawyer for Bates could not be found for comment.

Reserve deputies are generally volunteers, often with other full-time jobs. Bates is an insurance company executive assigned to a violent crimes task force.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Jim Clark, who investigated the shooting as an independent consultant at the request of the sheriff's office, concluded that Bates had been so engrossed in the stress of the moment that he did not think clearly about what he had in his hand.

The results of the investigation have been turned over to prosecutors, who will decide whether to file criminal charges.

Updated : 2021-09-21 21:39 GMT+08:00