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Dallas officer caught on video shooting mentally ill man is fired, could face charges

Dallas police say the man they shot was coming at them with a knife, but surveillance video shows the man standing still with his arms to his sides when he was shot

Updated 5:59 p.m.

(CBS/AP) DALLAS - Dallas police say the officer who shot a mentally ill man in a disputed incident caught on tapehas been fired.

Police Chief David Brown made the announcement Thursday and apologized for the officer's actions. At a news conference Thursday Brown stated that Officer Cardan Spencer was charged in the incident, but a judge declined to sign a warrant and the case will go to a grand jury instead.

Officer Spencer wrote in a police report that he shot Bobby Gerald Bennett last week after the 52-year-old man lunged at him and another officer with a knife.

But video captured by a neighbor's surveillance camera shows Bennett didn't appear to move toward the officers before he was shot and crumpled to the ground on Oct. 14.

Bennett has reportedly been charged with aggravated assault in the incident but charges against him were later dropped after Spencer's actions were called into question.

Bennett's mother, Joyce Jackson, says her son suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. According to CBS DFW, Bennett's family members say he was not on his medication last week when he was shot.

Following an outcry after the video was publicized, Spencer had been placed on indefinite administrative leave.

George Milner, an attorney representing Bennett's family, spoke to reporters Thursday saying, "What happened 10 days ago should have never have happened in the first place, and I want to make sure it never happens again."

Milner says Bennett was shot in "cold blood," according to the station.

"I don't see how he could not be charged with a crime, Milner reportedly said of Spencer.

  • Crimesider Staff

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