The sheriff of Tulsa County, Oklahoma suggested Monday that several years ago his agency had looked into whether the training records of the reserve deputy charged with manslaughter in the killing of an unarmed man were falsified.
The Tulsa World newspaper, citing multiple anonymous sources, had reported last week that supervisors in the sheriff’s office signed off on field training and firearms certifications that Reserve Deputy Robert Bates did not complete.
The sheriff’s office tried to shed doubt on the report because the newspaper had relied on anonymous sources and Bates’ attorney released what he said were the deputy’s training records on Saturday.
In a news conference Monday, Sheriff Stanley Glanz said that as far as he was aware Bates’ training records hadn’t been tampered with.
When asked whether there had been an internal investigation within the past couple years into the possibility that training records were falsified, though, Glanz replied in the affirmative. He said that there was an investigation that occurred under former Undersheriff Brian Edwards but that he wasn’t sure of its outcome.
“I believe that they found there was no special treatment,” Glanz said.
Asked whether that investigation involved Bates’ records, the sheriff said yes.
Reporters grew audibly frustrated with Glanz later in the press conference when he and Undersheriff Tim Albin gave vague, conflicting answers as to whether the sheriff’s office would take a hard look at the allegations of falsified training records.
“I think we did at the time the accusations were made,” Glanz said in response to a question from a reporter, adding that it was “six or seven years ago.”
After some crosstalk, Albin jumped in: “What I’m telling you is we’re going to look at all of that in the administrative review. I don’t understand what you’re not getting about that.”
Another reporter pointed out that if the investigation took place six or seven years ago, as Glanz had said, then Bates would have just joined the force as a reserve deputy.
“I’m unaware of that,” Albin responded. “I’m telling you in this particular incident we’re gonna look at everything.”