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The Tulsa, Oklahoma, sheriff, who has been accused of giving special treatment to a volunteer deputy who shot and killed a man, says he doesn't plan to resign but won't seek re-election.
Sheriff Stanley Glanz told the Tulsa World that he partially blames himself for the fatal shooting of Eric Harris by reserve deputy Robert Bates, who claims he mistook his gun for his Taser. But the sheriff said his primary fault was in putting too much faith in the people under him.
“Maybe I became a little lax in trusting people to make sure I’m fully informed,” Glanz told the newspaper.
A 2009 report obtained by NBC News revealed that Bates received preferential treatment at the sheriff’s office and didn't complete certain training required of other deputy sheriffs. Bates is a longtime friend and political supporter of the sheriff.
Glanz is referred to briefly in the report, which found that the department's captain at the time, Tom Huckeby, and the then-chief deputy, Tim Albin, participated in a culture of intimidation if other employees raised concerns about Bates' lack of training hours or skill.
Glanz accepted Albin's resignation on April 27, but said he himself will not resign. He told the Tulsa World that he does not plan on seeking re-election in 2016. He said that the review found "irregularities and different treatment" pertaining to Bates, but he again denied that Bates got "special treatment."
Bates has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the Harris killing. Glanz said he's spoken to Bates a couple times since the shooting and is concerned for his friend.
"This affected him a great deal,” Glanz said. “When you’re in law enforcement, sometimes you take a life. Meaningful or not meaningful, it still affects you a great deal."
- Eric Harris Shooting: DA Wants Investigation Into Tulsa County Sheriff's Office
- Eric Harris Shooting: Colleagues Questioned Robert Bates' Behavior in 2008
- Oklahoma Deputy Robert Bates Says He Had 'No Desire to Take Anyone's Life'
— Elisha Fieldstadt