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As Rick Cohen notes, "pay-to-play" philanthropy can easily turn dangerous, as last week's Tulsa shooting of an unarmed man by police donor demonstrates.

"The horrific news of the week was the incident from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a 73-year-old reserve deputy shot and killed an unarmed black man. The reserve deputy, an insurance company executive, mistook his sidearm for a taser and shot 44-year-old Eric Harris.... Why was an amateur cop allowed to carry or provided with taser and handgun and authorized to do things one would assume professional police officers do, presumably with the kind of training that a reserve deputy might lack? In the case of [Robert] Bates, he seems to have been able to become a reserve deputy by virtue of his political and charitable donations. He was the chairman of the campaign to reelect the Tulsa County sheriff in 2012, a donor to Sheriff Stanley Glanz’s campaign, and reportedly a donor of equipment to the sheriff’s office as well." -- Rick Cohen, the Nonprofit Quarterly

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