Dallas police have opened a criminal investigation and placed an officer on indefinite administrative leave after he shot and wounded a mentally ill man.
A police report says Officer Cardan Spencer fired on 52-year-old Bobby Gerald Bennett in Rylie after he walked toward police with a “knife raised in an aggressive manner.” But surveillance video shows a different story.
WFAA-TV (Channel 8) obtained a video from a neighbor's camera that shows Bennett first sitting, then standing, as two officers approached him. Seconds later, Spencer fired at the man and he fell to the ground. He was shot in the abdomen. Bennett remains in a hospital intensive care unit.
Police arrived in the neighborhood on Monday after Bennett's mother, Joyce Jackson, called police and told them that her son, who is a schizophrenic, was angry and pacing the street with a knife.
Here's the surveillance video:
[The video] shows Bennett, who was seated in a chair, initially rolling back from officers as they advance on him. Bennett then stands up but does not move. His hands remain at his side and he is standing still when Spencer shoots him, firing his service weapon four times. ...“It’s heartbreaking,” Joyce Jackson said. “It’s not right. My son did not do anything to those police officers. This is not right what they did.”
Spencer and a witnessing officer exit the police car and slowly walk toward Bennett, who pushes the chair backward a few feet. He then stands up straight and the two officers draw their weapons. The officers stop about 20 feet from him. Eight seconds after pulling their guns, Spencer fires and Bennett crumples over and falls to the ground. An affidavit says Spencer fired his weapon four times, striking Bennett once in the abdomen.
Bennett was standing still during the entire incident, both of his arms at his sides. The officers then approach him as he writhes on the concrete. One stops and picks something off the ground. The other officer kicks something away, turns Bennett onto his back and handcuffs him.