by Shane Smith, The Daily Bell:
The story of Robert Bates has covered the news wire for the past two weeks. A sting gone bad, with a “pay for play” volunteer reserve officer fatally shooting the subdued suspect. These facts have been known for some time, along with the details of the sting: a set-up gun buy to catch Eric Harris in the act, and then apprehend him. He gave chase, he was pursued, he was captured, he was killed. The focus has been almost exclusively directed at the shooter, Robert Bates, who appears to have bought his way into the good graces of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office with thousands of dollars’ worth of police equipment, apparently in exchange for a chance to play cop. An otherwise cash-strapped agency has a benefactor, and they want to treat him nice, come Hell or high water. What has received less attention, however, are just what policies set Eric Harris, Robert Bates and the other officers on a collision course that ended with Harris’s death.
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