The remorseful deputy, who was surrounded by his family and lawyer, told Lauer that “I have no desire to ever take anyone’s life.”
April 17, 2015

You know, I kinda feel sorry for this guy, but the time for realizing "it could happen to anyone" was before he chose to feed his "bad guys vs, good guys" fantasy with live ammo. Now, let's be clear: The ultimate blame should go to the politicized police department that allowed this man to be in a situation like this in the first place, and that police chief should be fired and charged. Via Mediaite:

The Oklahoma reserve police officer who mistakenly shot and killed an unarmed man earlier this month finally spoke out on Friday morning, sitting down for a satellite interview with NBC’s Today Show.

“First and foremost, let me apologize to the family of Eric Harris,” Tulsa reserve deputy Robert Bates said of the 44-year-old black man he fatally wounded. “This is the second-worst thing that’s ever happened to me or the first that ever happened to me in my life. I had cancer a number of years ago. I didn’t think I was going to get there… I’d rate this as number one on my list of things in my life that I regret.”

Asked by Matt Lauer how he could make the fundamental mistake of grabbing his gun instead of the taser, Bates replied, “This has happened a number of times around the country. I have read about it in the past. I thought to myself after reading several cases, I don’t understand how this can happen.”

He added: “You must believe me, it can happen to anyone.”

The remorseful deputy, who was surrounded by his family and lawyer, told Lauer that “I have no desire to ever take anyone’s life,” and recalled the state of shock he was in the moment he realized he had shot Harris.

Lauer took the opportunity to grill Bates on several stories that have come out about his relationship with the Tulsa police: Allegations that he was allowed to “play cop” because of his financial support of the sheriff’s deputy; and claims that the sheriff’s department falsified Bates’ training records to give him unearned credit for firearm certification.

Of the former, Bates said, “That is unbelievably unfair. I have donated equipment as I saw fit.” He added that his main motivation has been to assist the department in fighting a local drug problem.

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