Two lawsuits filed against Tulsa County Sheriff; Legal woes to get worse
Jan 10, 2016 08:55 PM EST
Two new lawsuits have been filed against former Tulsa Reserve Deputy Robert Bates and Count Sheriff Stanley Glanz. The legal woes of the Tulsa's Reserve Deputy and County Sheriff are about to get worse.
On Wednesday, KRMG reported that the law firm of Smolen and Roytman has already prepared two federal lawsuits. The report also include names, who are defendants and also members of the Tulsa County Sheriff Office: Acting Sheriff Richard Weigel, Michael Huckeby, Ricardo Vaca, and Joseph Byars.
In April 2015, Reserve Deputy Robert Bates shot Eric Harris in the back at close range while trying to arrest Harris in an undercover operation involving the purchase of an illegal hand gun. He was then accused of using 'excessive and unreasonable' deadly force in the shooting death. It was the first lawsuit filed against the Reserve Deputy. Bates then admitted that he was supposed to grab his taser in the shooting and not his gun. Bates stated that it was an accident and that he was resentful. County Sheriff Stanley Glanz and other deputies were also involved in the April 2, 2015 death of Eric Harris.
According to a copy of the complaint, "Bates is the longtime friend and financial supporter of Defendant, and former Tulsa County Sheriff, Stanley Glanz ('Sheriff Glanz')". It was also stated that before Eric Harris was shot dead, Sherrif Glanz knew that Bates did not have the necessary training or certifications to engage in Tulsa County Sheriff Office's field operations. The sheriff knew that Bates was not proficient with a firearm and posed a significant risk to the public. It was a shameful display of cronyism run amok, Sheriff Glanz turned a blind eye to these dangers, in violations of his own policies and the United States Constitution. It was then added that, Eric Harris 'needlessly died' as a direct consequence. It was said that Bates and company used unnecessary force and have violated the Fourth Amendment and deliberate indifference to severe medical needs in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Meanwhile, Weigel and Glanz are also liable for damages in their supervisory and official capacities. The lawsuit states, "Acting Sheriff Weigel is liable for these unconstitutional policies and customs, purely in his official capacity, as Sheriff Glanz's successor."
In February 12, 2015, Weigel, Glanz, and Bates were involved in a traffic stop, in which again, the three officials used excessive force. Terry Bynum, the plaintiff in the suit said that Bates used a taser on him after he submit to the officers and laid on the ground. This is their second lawsuit.
Stanley Glanz is charged with two misdemeanors and Robert Bates faces second-degree manslaughter. The two lawsuits seek actual and punitive damages in excess of $75,000. A special election to pick a new sheriff will take place in March 1.