Video Raises Questions in Dallas Cop’s Shooting of a Mentally Ill Man

A neighbor's surveillance camera footage contradicts police report

  • Share
  • Read Later

New footage of a Dallas police officer who shot a mentally ill man Monday contradicts a police affidavit that the suspect approached the policemen before they shot him.

Officer Cardan Spencer shot 52-year-old Gerald Bennett after arriving onto the scene where he found Bennett sitting in a black swivel chair in the middle of a cul de sac. The police responded to call from Bennett’s mother, who called the police over concern for her son.

The arrest warrant affidavit alleges that the two officers demanded Bennett show his hands before he took “several steps toward them with a knife raised in an aggressive manner.” Spencer then shot Bennett in the abdomen.

But local news station WFAA-TV obtained video surveillance from a neighbor Thursday, which revealed Bennett rolling back in the wheeled chair and standing up. Bennett did not approach the officers before Spencer shot him, but it’s unclear if Bennett was holding a knife. According to the police affidavit, Spencer “fired his duty weapon four times” because he was “in fear” for his and his partner’s safety.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the department was in the early stages of investigating the incident “to determine whether our deadly force policy was violated.”. Meanwhile, Spencer has been placed on administrative leave. Bennett remains in an intensive care unit at a local hospital.

[Dallas Morning News]