A Dallas police officer shot a mentally ill man standing outside his home in broad daylight in South Dallas, in a horrifying act that was caught on camera by a neighbor's security video.
The victim, 52-year-old Bobby Bennett, is in stable condition at Baylor Hospital.
Dallas police chief David Brown said in a statement that he was aware of the video of the incident and would launch an administrative investigation into whether the deadly force policy was violated. Cardan Spencer, the officer who shot Bennett, has been placed on administrative leave indefinitely. Brown said the aggravated assault charges against Bennett have been dropped.
Around noon on October 14, two officers responded to a 911 call in the 9400 block of Crimson Court. Bennett's mother, Joyce Jackson, told Fox 4 she called police because she was worried her son might harm himself. According to police, Jackson said her son was armed with a knife and "acting violent."
Officer Spencer responded to the scene with his partner, and the pair can be seen approaching Bennett on the neighbor's security camera footage. Spencer initially reported that Bennett, who is schizophrenic, lunged at him with a knife.
But the video shows the two officers approaching Bennett as he sits in an office chair in the street. Bennett wheels back in the chair and stands up, hands at his side. Spencer fires his weapon multiple times and Bennett hits the ground, clutching his side.
Spencer's partner then callously rolls the unmoving Bennett onto his stomach and handcuffs him from behind.
"We are in the very early stages of conducting a thorough criminal investigation of this incident." Brown said. "Once we complete the criminal investigation we will refer our findings to the Dallas County District Attorney's office. We will be careful to make further comments given the legal procedural due process issues involved with an investigation of this nature."