It happened on April 2 in Tulsa, OK, a reserve sheriff’s deputy pulled out his revolver instead of his Taser and killed a suspect. The deputy has been arrested and charged with manslaughter. The video is linked below and from what I can tell this was a mistake on the part of the deputy, a fatal mistake, one which should never have happened.

I’m sure adrenaline was rushing as the police were chasing the suspect, but how can an officer not realize the difference between a revolver and a Taser. You can tell he made a mistake by listening to his statement on the video after firing his revolver, but that still does not excuse his actions. I would expect officers to place Tasers and pistols in different holsters in different locations on their belt to avoid confusion. Had the grip and weight been similar on the two I could potentially see how the mistake could take place, but I’ve not found a Taser model with any similarity to a snubnose revolver. The closest I found to his firearm is posted below, but it still has little in common with a revolver. Perhaps in this case we need to take age into consideration. The deputy was 73 and while I don’t want to promote age discrimination, perhaps there comes a time when you may not be fit for duty, or where additional training and qualification is required.

I watched the video and don’t see the need for a Taser, perhaps the suspect was more unruly than I can see, but after being shot I see at least three people on top of him and if they cannot keep a 44-year-old man down with three people perhaps they need to go get additional training. I recently saw a mom take out a carjacker at the end of a high-speed chase so if she can handle the situation by herself, three police officers should be able to restrain a man in his forties. The bottom line is this never should have happened. The officer should know whether or not he has a pistol or a Taser and should only use either if the need arises. Had he followed that methodology the suspect would be alive and the officer would not be charged with manslaughter.