Dallas Cops Shoot Mentally Ill Man Standing in the Street
On Oct. 14, Bobby Gerald Bennett of Dallas, 59, of Dallas, Texas began acting erratically. While Bennett sat in a swivel chair in the middle of the cul de sac holding a knife, his mother, Joyce Jackson, called the police and asked the dispatcher to send officers who were trained in dealing with the mentally ill.
But when police arrived at 12:19 p.m., both officers quickly drew their weapons. One of the officers then fired four shots at Bennett, striking him once in the abdomen.
According to the press release issued by Dallas police Sgt. Warren Mitchell immediately after the shooting, Bennett “made statements indicating that he was not going to cooperate with the officers" and that “the incident escalated which led an officer to fire his weapon upon the individual.”
However, according to surveillance video captured by neighbor Maurice Bunch, Bennett was standing still during the entire incident and, when he was shot, his hands were down by his side. Bunch, who witnessed the shooting, tells WFAA:
“When the officers told him freeze, he complied,” said Bunch, who witnessed the incident from his driveway across the street. “He did not move an inch, in suspended animation; he just stood there, you know? Bobby was conscious, he knew exactly what he was doing because I had been talking to him prior.”
According to Bunch, the police were “trying to kill” Bennett.
Dallas police, after viewing Bunch’s surveillance footage, are now reviewing the incident:
We are in the very early stages of conducting a thorough criminal investigation of this incident. Once we complete the criminal investigation we will refer our findings to the Dallas County District Attorney's office [...] We will then begin the administrative investigation to determine whether our deadly force policy was violated.
We are aware of video taken by citizens of this incident.
Bennett remains in the intensive care unit of a Dallas hospital.
The surveillance footage of the incident, in which Bennett is standing with his arms down and backing away from the officers, can be viewed here: