Monday, April 13, 2015

Roger Bates, the guy who shot Eric Harris: "What was a reserve cop, aging or otherwise, doing with a weapon?"

Another unarmed victim.

When volunteer police officer Roger Bates grabbed his gun and shot a fleeing suspect, he said he thought his gun was his taser.

You can hear him on the video say, "I'm sorry."
Why was a 73-year-old insurance company executive playing cop? 
That’s the simple question many are asking more than a week after an undercover Tulsa police operation went wrong — and a white reserve deputy sheriff shot and killed an unarmed black man, apparently by accident. He has not been charged with a crime. 
When Robert Bates pulled his weapon and shot 44-year-old Eric Harris on April 2, he said he thought his handgun was his Taser. In a video released by police over the weekend, a gunshot fires and Bates says, “Oh, I shot him. I’m sorry.” It was one of at least two shootings this month in which a white officer shot and killed an unarmed black man — and it has created a backlash for many reasons, one being Bates is not a real police officer. He’s a reserve sheriff’s deputy. And some fear he wasn’t qualified to be one. - Finish reading here.
I mention this story because I have a friend whose husband volunteers for a suburban police department - he too carries a gun - on duty and off, and he also wears his police jacket wherever he goes: Church, grocery store, riding his bike.  He's armed and a huge BS-er.  Years ago I sat and listened to a story about how he stopped a car for a 'routine check' - searched the vehicle, found a dead body in the trunk but couldn't do anything because he didn't have a search warrant and had to let the guy go.  Today, he's around the same age as the guy who shot the man in in this story.  Over the years he has been a volunteer chaplain, cop, paramedic and he seems to imagine himself as some sort of action hero.  Right now he's an 'armed chaplain' for the county.  I think he's delusional.  Anyway - my friends and I have always said - something like this is just waiting to happen with the guy.

Evidently guys with money, like Bates, get to play cop in Oklahoma.  Locally, especially in the suburbs, there are volunteer positions, or part-time positions for 'laymen' to assist police.  Years ago one of my bosses did that.  Born and raised in Germany during the war, he was also in the Hitler Youth - as were most German youth at the time.  He retained a certain militarist characteristic however - and loved to boast about his volunteer services for the sheriff's department.

Fully trained police seem to have problems when it comes to gunning down petty criminals or drivers whose tail-light is out, so I think it is ridiculous to allow armed, volunteer posse-guys to fulfill their fantasies as volunteer cops.


  1. Bit like middle-aged or elderly priests with guns really #anaccidentwaitingtohappen

  2. "armed, volunteer posse-guys fulfill their fantasies as cops"

    A new older middle aged crisis? Does not bode well for the rest of us. ;p

  3. But Steven Segal is a reserve sheriff's deputy. How is that different?

    What? He is.

    1. Well, he got "training" on the set of movies he made famous playing rouge cops so I would venture he has the upper hand when compared to these other guys.

      Who knows?

    2. Lou Ferigno was a deputy too.

    3. Wow. I bet everyone got scared when he ripped his shirt and turned green.

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  5. I keep thinking about how the writers of the Office made Dwight Schrute a volunteer sheriff's deputy and how perfect that was for his character. I think you nailed it, Terry: fantasy fulfillment.

    1. THAT'S RIGHT! That is so incredible now that I think about it. The guy I know is just like Dwight. LOL!

  6. +JMJ+

    So it turns out that Hank Schraeder of Breaking Bad was a "type" recognisable to Americans . . . Remember that Hank didn't turn his life around until he hit rock bottom, as a result of his own arrogant actions, and had to admit, "I'm not the man I thought I was."

    Constructing an identity from externals is dangerous. If not for the person flashing those "brands" around, then for the rest of us.


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