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Prosecutors review new US police shooting caught on video

14 April 2015, 08:11

Washington - Prosecutors in the south-central US state of Oklahoma are looking into the fatal shooting of an unarmed black male by a white lawman that was recorded live on video, a spokesperson said on Monday.

Eric Harris, 44, a suspect in an undercover gun-sale operation, was shot April 2 by a Tulsa County volunteer deputy sheriff who thought he had drawn his Taser stun gun rather than his firearm.

"He shot me! Oh, my God!" Harris is heard screaming in the video, released over the weekend, as deputies pinned him to the sidewalk and yelled expletives at him. He later died in hospital.

In an email to AFP, a spokesperson for the Tulsa District Attorney's Office said the shooting had been investigated by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.

Its report was submitted on Friday, she said, adding that it now was "under review".

In South Carolina, a police officer has been charged with murder after a passer-by caught him on video fatally shooting a fleeing black man after a routine traffic stop on April 4.

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Tulsa County reserve deputy sheriff Robert Bates, 72, contacted by the Tulsa World newspaper, acknowledged shooting Harris, who had a criminal record.

"It was me," said Bates, a successful Tulsa insurance broker by day, who declined to say more on the advice of his lawyer.

A Tulsa city police officer called in to investigate the incident defended Bates, saying he pulled the wrong weapon in the midst of a hot pursuit.

The shooting was recorded by a deputy sheriff wearing sunglasses fitted with a tiny video camera - one of several types of body cameras being adopted by more and more US law enforcement agencies.

In California, 10 sheriff's deputies have been suspended after they were recorded last Thursday by a news helicopter kicking and beating a suspect fleeing on horseback in San Bernardino county.


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