|Robert Bates wants to celebrate the last moments of his freedom by taking a trip out of the country. Will he come back?|
Robert Bates, the reserve deputy who shot an unarmed suspect with his firearm thinking he deployed a Taser is out on bail and he's thinking about escaping to a place where he may feel a little heat.
A paradise. The island nation of the Bahamas is where Bates is hoping to take a vacation to while he's awaiting a second degree manslaughter trial.
The family of Eric Harris is none too happy about this news.
Bates' lawyers told the judge that Bates, a reserve deputy with the Tulsa County sheriff's office, and his family planned to take their previously planned vacation ahead of his next court date in July.
"It's really not an issue," Corbin Brewster, one of Bates' attorneys, said in an interview after the hearing.
Harris' family criticized the trip, saying it sends a message "of apathy with respect to the shooting and Eric's life."
"At a time when we are still mourning the death of a loved one that he shot down in the street, Mr. Bates will be relaxing and enjoying his wealth and privilege," the family said in a statement released Tuesday.
They want this guy's restrictions either in the county lockup or watching the Bahamas on television.
Because if he could get out on a minimum bond, then the perception of White privilege and favoritism comes to mind.
What if he eludes custody? If he's a flight risk and he manages to escape authorities to a nation that doesn't extradite criminals back to the United States, what will they do now?
|Eric Harris (right) was killed after Bates, a reserve deputy shot him. Harris was unarmed at apprehension.|
He plead not guilty and he's decided to promise to return back to court once he gets his vacation over with.
CBS News reports that Bates was charged after the sheriff's office released video of the shooting, in which Bates is overheard apologizing for shooting the suspect.
Harris' family has questioned whether Bates was qualified to conduct police work. Their attorneys allege that the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office violated several of its own policies by not keeping a permanent record of Bates' certifications and allowing him to carry his personal handgun after training on another weapon.
But Sheriff Stanley Glanz said Bates - his longtime insurance agent and former campaign manager - had been properly trained and passed annual firearms certifications required by the state.
Bates, who sold his insurance business for $6 million in 1999, was trained to be a Tulsa Police Department patrolman in 1964, but he left the department in 1965.
He was out of law enforcement for 35 years before returning for volunteer work in Florida in 2000, and the Tulsa County force in 2008. Bates also made several donations to the Tulsa County sheriff's office, and was Glanz' campaign manager during the 2012 election.
On Monday, Glanz said he's known Bates for about 25 years and said that at one time, the two had traveled to the Bahamas together with other colleagues.