- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A special grand jury empaneled to explore whether an Oklahoma reserve sheriff’s deputy was properly trained before shooting an unarmed man to death in April gathered at a Tulsa courthouse Thursday.

Also present were three of the deputy’s colleagues from the Tulsa force, but none of the officers would talk about why he was there.

Among them was Deputy Evan Foster, who witnessed former reserve deputy Bob Bates use his stun gun on a suspect two months before the April 2 shooting of Eric Harris. Bates has said he mistakenly grabbed his handgun, rather than his stun gun, when he killed Harris on a Tulsa street.

Terry Byrum has said he was already restrained when Bates used a Taser on him during a Feb. 12 traffic stop and has sued Sheriff Stanley Glanz and others in federal court.

A citizen-requested grand jury began looking into Glanz’s performance as sheriff after the leak of an internal 2009 memo raised questions on whether reserve deputies were adequately trained. Bates, a longtime friend of the sheriff’s, made gifts to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

Bates has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree manslaughter charge in Harris’ death during a sting operation involving gun sales. He faces a trial in February and left the reserve deputy program after the shooting.

Foster declined comment outside the grand jury room. He has not been accused of wrongdoing in Byrum’s traffic stop, and it was unclear when he would testify Thursday.

Byrum has said Foster forced him to the ground and put a knee in his back, and that Bates held Byrum’s head and upper neck down with a foot before using a stun gun on Byrum’s leg. An arrest report says Byrum had tried to run from officials and continued to resist while on the ground.

Also near the grand jury meeting room was Deputy Tim Wilkens, a training instructor who declined to comment on his testimony as he left the courtroom. Another witness to testify before the jury, Sgt. David Roberts, who is in the operations division, also declined to discuss his testimony as he left court.

A sheriff’s spokesman said late Wednesday that Glanz, Undersheriff Richard Weasel and Chief Deputy Michelle Robinette have yet to be subpoenaed.

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