74-year-old convicted Ex-Oklahoma deputy Robert Bates, who fatally shot unarmed Black man, Eric Harris, says he’d been “pretty much condemned”.
Robert Bates spoke from jail over the week, expressing dissatisfaction about his four-year prison sentence for killing a 44-year-old unarmed African-American, Eric Courtney Harris, during a sting operation in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Bates admitted being guilty, but said his conviction was like a death sentence, since he’s already 74.
“I just made a mistake. It was an accident. I didn’t do it on purpose. That’s the one thing that has pretty much ruined my life. I’m probably done. I mean, I don’t want to die in prison but I suppose it’s a good possibility,” he said during an interview.
According to reports, Bates, who had retired from an insurance company, bribed the police department to become one of them. Because of his close relationship with Tulsa Sheriff Stanley Glanz, he bypassed the 480 hours field training that is required to be an officer. An investigation found out that Bates had given thousands of dollars in cash, vehicles and equipment to the department. Thus Bates’ wish to ‘play an officer’ cost Harris his life.
He spoke from jail, saying, “I regret the whole thing. I regret that I ever decided to try to give something back to the community.”
Bates’ conviction is just one of the white-privilege sentences in the country. A white man charged with murder is sentenced to only 4 years in jail and still complains of him not surviving the term, but a black man, who commits no crime, can be sent to more than 8 years in jail. Others like George Zimmerman, who killed 17-year-old African-American Trayvon Martin, go scot-free. That’s a shame!
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