Discredited Tulsa volunteer sheriff's deputy program revived

Posted at 5:10 PM, Jul 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-30 18:41:49-04

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma volunteer sheriff's deputy program halted after a member fatally shot an unarmed black man is back in business with tougher requirements, the new Tulsa county sheriff says.

But every one of the new reserves is from the old force riddled with cronyism and all but three are white in a city with fraught race relations.

The program at the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office was shut down after 74-year-old volunteer Robert Bates said he mistakenly reached for his gun instead of a Taser and fatally shot Eric Harris during an illegal gun sales sting in April 2015.

New sheriff Vic Regalado, elected on a promise to reform the agency, opted not to shut the reserves down completely, and recently announced it would be revived as a leaner version of its discredited predecessor.

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