Once again video footage has emerged exposing police officers’ version of a death at their own hands as being nothing more than lies. According to the initial statements put out by the Tulsa, Oklahoma Police Department, a group of police officers were involved with a physical altercation with 44 year-old African American Tulsa resident Eric Harris. The video however demonstrates that the only struggle which actually occurred was Eric Harris’s struggle for breath as several police officers were engaged in what was essentially a ritual execution. After 73 year-old white reserve deputy officer Robert Bates pulled out his deadly weapon and shot Eric Harris (Bates claimed he meant to reach for his taser, the same defense used by Johannes Mehserle when killing Oscar Grant in 2009), Harris can be seen bleeding profusely and is in obvious need of medical attention in order to preserve his life. No such help is on the way, and when Harris, in a state of shock, exclaims to the officers accompanying Bates,
“He shot me! He shot me, man. Oh, my god. I’m losing my breath“,
an unknown deputy heartlessly screams, “Fuck your breath!” and “Shut the fuck up!”
All of this occurs while yet another officer is kneeling on the head of the dying man. None of the officers seem to be very concerned about yet another unarmed person losing his life on their watch, and one of the cops even says to his victim, “You shouldn’t have fucking ran!”
The police chief later claimed, rather absurdly, that the officers involved simply didn’t realize Harris had been shot. Apparently Bates rather loudly exclaiming “I shot him!” and Harris even more audibly yelling “He shot me! Oh my god!” weren’t enough to indicate to these officers that Harris had indeed been shot.
Officers justified chasing Mr. Harris down and murdering him in cold blood by alleging that Harris tried to illegally sell a firearm to an undercover agent, an action that, while not exactly condonable, seems to only become an issue with authorities if engaged in by Black men.