I can't help but think about the odd parallels between those movies and last week's police shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as more details about the "policeman" who mistook a gun for a taser come to light.
The Tulsa cop who accidentally shot and killed a man when he meant to use his Taser this weekend was revealed as 73-year-old Robert Charles Bates, a reserve deputy-slash-millionaire.Let that one sink in for a moment: This "Reserve Deputy", was only a "Reserve Deputy" because he ponied up a large campaign donation. Basically this was a rich old man who, instead of doing typical rich old man sh*t like suntanning on a bed of hundred dollar bills aboard a yacht whilst being fed grapes by Armenian hookers, decided he'd rather get his Police Academy: Citizens On Patrol-on. Seriously, what's an old man who isn't even a real cop doing riding shotgun on a potentially dangerous, high-profile undercover sting mission? I don't care how much "training" he had, he had no business being on this case.
According to the Tulsa World News, Bates, who donated $2,500 to help a Tulsa sheriff get re-elected to office, is one of 100 reserve officers supplementing the city’s police department, and was serving on the Violent Crimes Task Force when he unwittingly gunned down Eric Courtney Harris, a convicted meth dealer who was attacking a fellow officer.
Maj. Shannon Clark told the World that Bates, who was honored as Reserve Deputy of the Year in 2011, was indeed trained for fieldwork, kind of: “What I will say is that the deputy had the specialty training to be assigned to this task force, similar to what a full-time deputy would have had.”
Bates, who founded an insurance company and serves as its executive, is currently the subject of a civil lawsuit filed by his former company.
[On a completely unrelated note: That old man's got some impressive footspeed. He closed on Eric Harris, a man nearly half his age, like he was an NFL cornerback. That was some vintage Darrell Green sh*t right there.]
All that aside, I can't imagine why this old man's not being charged with murder. This "accident" cost a man his life, and at what cost? Harris allegedly was slangin' crystal meth, but they set him up with an illegal gun sell, which seems all sorts of wrong and ass backwards. Is that how they get down in Oklahoma? Maybe Kevin Durant should come back to DC after all.
None of this excuses Harris' actions: You can't sell a bootleg Ruger in a trailer park, run when 5-0 rolls up, and expect to not get your ass kicked. But last I checked, running from the police wasn't a crime worthy of the death penalty.
[Update: Bates has been charged with manslaughter.]
Question: Does it disturb you that people can become "cops" by simply giving to a political campaign?
 BTW, this was all captured with body cameras. Still no conviction of the "cop". I'm not sure "video proof" changes the equation much here. The issue is that so many cops (not all, by any means, but enough of them) just don't exhibit the level of competency that this very dangerous, very difficult job demands. Body cameras, and dash cameras don't fix that.