Civil Liberties

Dallas Cop Fired For Shooting Mentally Ill Man, Charged With Aggravated Assault

Man who was shot initially charged with aggravated assault


shot by cop
Dallas PD

Bobby Bennett was shot by a cop in the middle of the day last week. Police claimed he was moving toward them aggressively with a knife when Officer Carden Spencer shot him, but surveillance video from a neighbor's house contradicted that story.

Initially, Bennett, who survived the shooting, was charged with aggravated assault on a public servant. Now the tables have turned. Police have dropped the charges against Bennett, while Spencer has been fired and charged with aggravated assault himself. His partner, meanwhile, will be investigated by internal affairs.

Via CBS Dallas:

"What happened 10 days ago should have never have happened in the first place, and I want to make sure it never happens again," said [family attorney George] Milner, who said Bennett was shot in "cold blood."

"Officers are not above the law," Chief [David] Brown [of the Dallas police] said as he began his nearly hour-long statement to reporters. "We are not going to look the other way. We are not going to sweep officer misconduct under the rug."

Chief Brown also offered an apology to Bennett and his family, and explained why it took ten days to complete the investigation before the Spenser was fired and charged.

"What I have found to be true is rushed investigations and employment actions is wrought with mistakes, knee-jerk reactions and perceptions of partiality," said Brown. "Rushed decisions…under this circumstances have led to not guily verdicts and employment actions being overturned."

Last month, a cop in North Carolina who shot and killed an unarmed man that had crashed his car and was seeking assistance was charged with voluntary manslaughter the same day. Video also exists of that incident, via dashcam, but police in Charlotte have resisted calls to release it; the victim's fiancée says the police chief had promised to release the video.

More Reason on police brutality here.