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Brother of man killed in deputy-involved shooting says Sheriff’s Office offered to “make it right”

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Eric Harris

TULSA, Okla. – The family of a man who died after being shot by a Tulsa reserve deputy released a statement Monday after watching the video.

Eric Harris was shot by Reserve Deputy Robert Bates on April 2, when the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office says Bates mistook his gun for his taser.

According to the Sheriff’s office, Harris was wrestling with another deputy and Bates wanted to help subdue him with the taser. They say Harris, the subject of an undercover sting operation, was trying to flee deputies.

Bates, a 73-year-old insurance executive, fired one shot at Harris, who eventually died at a Tulsa hospital.

In a news conference Monday, Harris’ brother, Andre Harris, said he was approached by the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office after the shooting.

Harris says the law enforcement officers that approached him said “we know what happened to your brother, we apologize.”

Harris also said that the officer said “we made a mistake and we want to make it right.”

At the press conference, Harris said that the officers asked him if he had hired a lawyer.

After telling them he had, officer said that “hiring a lawyer would slow the process down.”

Attorneys says that a video from a nearby Dollar General store will soon be released.

Harris’ attorney says there is no way the gun and taser could be confused.

The gun Bates was using was much smaller than his taser, Harris’ attorney said.

The attorneys went on to say that they are not attacking law enforcement.

“This will be about what a corrupt sheriff’s office does after a bad shooting,” Harris’ lawyer said.

Harris told reporters that he doesn’t think the shooting was racially motivated.

“I don’t think this is a racial thing. I don’t think this has anything to do with race. It might have a hint there somewhere. … This is simply evil,” Andre Harris told reporters Monday. “This is a group of people that’s spent a lot of time together, spent money together. … They’ve gotten real comfortable with how they do things, which when you’re the law, I guess you feel like you can do things and get away with it and not get exposed. Well, we’ve come to expose it. We’ve come to pull a mask off the evil. We’ve come to shine a light on the darkness.”

 

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