TULSA, Okla. – An Oklahoma county is paying $6 million to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white former sheriff’s reserve deputy.
The settlement between Tulsa County and the estate of Eric Harris was filed Friday. Harris was shot in April 2015 by ex-volunteer sheriff’s deputy Robert Bates.
The 76-year-old Bates was released from prison in October after serving less than half of a four-year sentence for second-degree manslaughter.
Sheriff Vic Regalado said in a statement he believes the settlement will allow the Harris family to heal.
An attorney for Harris’ family says his legacy brings hope for “some measure of justice and accountability” when a law officer “violates the rights and takes the life of an African-American citizen.”