WATCH: Jury DENIES Cop Bail, Sends Him to Prison for Shooting Unarmed Restrained Man to Death


David Lee | Courthouse News Service


TULSA (CN) — The former Tulsa County sheriff’s deputy convicted of manslaughter for firing his gun instead of his Taser at an unarmed and restrained black man was denied bail Tuesday, and his attorney angrily lashed out at the victim’s “punk” attorney.

Tulsa County Judge William Musseman agreed with prosecutors that he has no discretion to set bail for Robert Bates, 73, as state law prohibits bail on appeal for defendants convicted of a felony while in possession of a firearm.

In denying bail, Musseman said it is not his job to “analyze legislator wisdom.”

He was not persuaded by defense arguments that Bates was acting as a law enforcement officer when he shot and killed Eric Harris, but agreed with prosecutors that there is no exception for defendants acting as law enforcement.

Bates was free on $25,000 bail before and during his trial.

The jury convicted him last Wednesday, April 27, of second-degree manslaughter, and recommended the maximum punishment of four years in state prison.

Bates, who will be sentenced on May 31, testified for the first time during the bail hearing. Dressed in a bright orange jail jumpsuit, Bates slowly walked to and from the witness stand.

His attorney, Clark Brewster with Brewster & De Angelis in Tulsa, said his client is not a threat to the community and that staying in jail would worsen his health.

Bates testified that he has been diagnosed with a heart condition, sleep apnea, had both knees replaced and was on several medications. He said he was denied clothing when he was temporarily held on suicide watch, and that he was not sure what he had said or done to warrant that action.

After the hearing, Brewster angrily reacted to reporters’ questions about the ruling, as he waited for an elevator.

“Do you all feel safer with Bob Bates in jail?” Brewster asked.

“I hope you feel really good about it. That’s all I have to say about it.”

Brewster then pointed his finger at Harris family attorney Dan Smolen, with Smolen Smolen & Roytman in Tulsa, and said, “This punk here is your protector.”

An unidentified woman told Brewster to “sleep well tonight” as the elevator doors closed.

Smolen answered the question by telling reporters that he does indeed feel safer with Bates in jail.

Jurors deliberated for three hours before convicting Bates.

They were not swayed by hours of defense expert witness testimony that Harris, 44, died of a heart attack instead of a gunshot.

A video shot by a police bodycam shows Bates shooting a restrained Harris during a gun-sale sting and arrest last year.

Published by Courthouse News Service.

Watch the raw video below:


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 4089 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Sean Boswell

    Now if his accomplices in the murder of this unarmed man could be charged….that’d be great.

  • Tony Velez

    wished that POS pig who said “fuck your breathe” loses his job

  • Morgan Morris

    Why, yes I do feel safer without a killer cop on the lose. Thank you Dan Smolen.

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      • Bilal Kayani

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  • InalienableWrights

    So even what they accused the dead man of doing was not really a real crime?

  • Timothy Sanchez

    someone who takes a life deserves to have theirs taken away too simple as that

    • Kretias

      And reduce yourself to the same level as his? Yeah, great plan. Besides, there are punishments in todays world that are far worse then death.

      • Timothy Sanchez

        it doesn’t matter whether you are reduced to the same level as him only if its for the right purpose

      • Timothy Sanchez

        and no punishment is greater than death and dont say guilt or torture because it all ends eventually

  • John a Hitchhiker

    So this is like one of those sites that takes old news (Its from last year ppl) and posts it as news? Thats just ridiculous.
    Also those pigs should be jailed at the very least and that old guy… Just….. no…..

  • John a Hitchhiker

    Interestingly those cops called the victim a mother fucker several times and then some more shit but no subtitles there

  • Shemp

    scum bag cop, with his knee on the guys head. showing total disrespect of human life and dignity.

  • Chuck B

    His knee was working fine when he was using it to crush the victims skull

    • Kretias

      My thoughts exactly. Its bullshit. Nothing else. I find 4years in prison to low for his actions. He misused his power to compensate for his missing testicles and caused the death of someone else because of it. Failing at his job in nearly every point. He should have his license removed for a lifetime (if they didnt do that already) and also atleast give him 20 years.

  • chiefkurtz

    It’s a poor attorney who thinks the sole purpose of jails and prisons is to make us safer. That whole punishment aspect seems to be lost on him.

  • Daniel W. McCullar

    The health of people is really takiem into condition when sentenced to prison. For that’s not the issue or concern. And he’s lucky. A “deprivation of rights while under color of law” is a federal offense and he should be charged with it. And since somebody lost their life the death penalty is automatically on the table at the federal level. I would suggest the family of this victim go to the feds and file these charges and Go for the death penalty.

    • Dakota

      I would also suggest the family of this victim make a claim using common law against the man acting as officer. Take everything he has and what he might earn in the future. Karl Lentz is the place to learn how. No lawyer needed.

    • Jill Beverly

      Please see if you can send that info to the victim.

  • Liz O’neill

    the lawyer might not feel safer with this murdering cop in jail, but I bet people in his district feel a lot safer, 4 yrs is far to lenient, he should die in jail.

    • Dakota

      He will pay in the end. He can’t escape judgment day.

    • michael

      lets hope Karma catches up with him in prison

  • Rich Bawol

    I’m totally lost in this post. The story is talking about a 73 y/o man. He sure as hell wouldn’t be a Cop. It’s like they ran two different stories here.

    • Jon Doh

      He was basically an auxiliary volunteer. So no. It’s not a different story

  • Bam

    The cultist protect their own….

  • uKatamitt
  • Schmice

    With regard to his last question. Yes.

  • Xollonius Xfactor

    Fuck the pig…..hope he gets lynched slowwwwww

  • James V Paul

    its ok for a cunt cop to shoot you when ever he fucking likes because you wont change your law so cops can be prosecuted

  • EliWebber

    Guess the cops don’t like being locked up ,and treated as sub human .hopefully more of them see the inside of a cell. they have become self righteous assholes .with the attitude all citizens are criminals as soon as we walk out our doors , in fact our homes , property family and pets are at risk , from these so called peace officers.

  • mike

    Actually I do feel safer with that Mother F’er in jail. Screw him for thinking he should be above the punishment of the law,