This is the story of how one county Sheriff finally started his long overdue journey into the horrific penal system he created.
Stanley Glanz was a popularly elected sheriff of Tulsa County. A good friend and wealthy local man, Robert Bates, ran his 2012 reelection campaign. In return for donating equipment, weapons, and other items to the Tulsa County Sheriff Office, Bates was given the title of Reserve Deputy and allowed to accompany trained deputies on their patrols. He failed or never completed most of the required training.
This would prove ultimately to be the undoing of Glanz. Meanwhile, he ran his office with an iron fist, using the "Good Old Boys" network to keep control of the local community. And by that, I mean he ran an organization that was racist to its core. That profited and thrived off the literal blood, sweat, and tears of the people of color unlucky enough to come into contact with them.
There are multiple federal cases now in play against Glanz. His office has already been found guilty by jury in a case involving a 17 year old juvenile defendant who was raped more than 100 times in a short period by a jail employee.
But the worst was still yet to come out. In 2011, Elliot Williams suffered a broken neck at the hands of the TCSO. He died in jail, several days later, after suffering from massive dehydration and a fractured neck. The video is horrifying, and the callousness of the TCSO jailers is some of the most damning evidence of how little the life of a black person matters.
But none of this would have come to light if not for the actions of Robert Bates on April 2nd, 2015. Out playing wannabe cop with some officers working a drug bust, Bates ran up giddily to a restrained Eric Harris and shot him in the back. He claimed he was trying to deploy his taser, and pulled his gun instead. As Harris lay dying and saying he couldn't breathe, Deputy Joseph Byars exhibited the care for black lives in Tulsa. Fuck your breath! he replied to Harris.
Sheriff Glanz quickly tried to cover up the shooting. When that failed, he forged and attempted to push senior training officers into signing off on falsified documents related to Bates. But the world was already looking, and a few brave officers refused to be party to the lies. And so began the unraveling of the web of power he had woven so artfully. His fall is not yet completed, but his reign of terror is over. The picture shown here isn't a mugshot. He's still not yet had one.