Dallas Cops Shot a Schizophrenic Man in Rylie, But It Didn't Go Down Quite Like They Said

In initial reports, Dallas police said they had good reason to open fire on Bobby Gerald Bennett. The 52-year-old schizophrenic had been acting erratically, reportedly saying he wanted to be shot by police.

When they arrived at his cul-de-sac in the Rylie neighborhood of far southwest Dallas just after noon on Monday and he rushed at them with his "knife raised in an aggressive manner," they had no choice but to oblige.

The problem for officer Cardan Spencer, who shot Bennett in the stomach, is that the incident was caught on a neighbor's surveillance camera, which was provided to WFAA.

The footage shows Bennett walking out of his house and pacing around for a few minutes before planting himself in a swivel chair in the middle of the road. He stands up as officers pull up in their squad car, but he makes no move in their direction.

"When the officers told him freeze, he complied," Maurice Bunch, the neighbor who provided the video, told WFAA. "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."

Bennett's mother, Joyce Jackson, told The Dallas Morning News the she called police in hopes that they could help her son.

"It's heartbreaking," she told the paper. "It's not right. My son did not do anything to those police officers. This is not right what they did."

Dallas Police Chief David Brown issued a statement Thursday evening saying the department is in the "very early stages of conducting a thorough investigation of this incident."

"Once we complete the criminal investigation we will refer our findings to the Dallas County District Attorney's office," he added.

Spencer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Bennett was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach and is expected to recover.

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63 comments
Amen
Amen

Face it....it is impossible to convict a cop for shooting an unarmed innocent person....there was no knife....not until they planted it later anyway.

Even with stone cold video evidence, the system is so corrupt that you may as well give all the cops a 007 badge number.

This was an intentional attempted murder.   If a civilian had shot a cop lke this in Texas they would get life with no parole....if they survived being arrested.

The cop who lied to cover it up should be charged as a full 100% accomplice...with the same penalty as the shooter.....that's what would happen to a civilian who aided and abetted a cop shooter.

Of course there will be no convictions....and in the unlikely miracle that the political stink becomes so bad that the court is FORCED to convict someone.....the penalties will be light.

biff51
biff51

Is the police officer white or black? The news media has never shown a picture. Just wondering because I haven't heard any outrage from Jessie Jackson or Al Sharpton.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

This is precisely why our Republican mayor is having the police department phase out the use of dashboard mounted cameras in squad cars.

They shine a big, bright light on corruption.

roo_ster
roo_ster

A man with a knife can be a very serious threat to a man with a firearm.  The Tueller drill regularly shows knife-wielders getting the better of folk with holstered guns at 21' or less.  In this case, though, they had guns drawn & aimed.  If dude charged, they had the drop on him and could have quickly shot him to pieces. 

 I wonder what would happen to me if I shot a mentally ill man with a knife who had _retreated_ from me and stood up, but _not_ advanced on me?  And then video showed I lied about what occurred.


I think I would be facing some damned serious charges. 


======

As for the "Should have used a Taser" crowd, that is not what Tasers are used for these days.  Tasers are compliance tools to be used on _unarmed_ folk who are not following LEO orders.  Sort of like fancy-schmancy cattle prods or whips. 



literateone
literateone

BEFORE YOU PEOPLE JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS...THE MOTHER TOLD 911 HE HAD A KNIFE AND THAT HE WANTED TO COMMIT SUICIDE BY POLICE AND THEN HE TOLD THE OFFICERS THAT THEY WERE GOING TO NEED MANY MORE OFFICERS FOR WHAT HE HAD PLANNED.  DISPATCH NEVER PUT OVER THE RADIO THAT THE MAN WANTED TO COMMIT SUICIDE BY  COP...YOU CANNOT HEAR WHAT THE MAN IS SAYING TO THE OFFICER AND NONE OF YOU, I SUSPECT, ARE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT SO YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ENCOUNTER ON A DAILY BASIS OR WHY THE OFFICER DID WHAT HE DID.  BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH HOW ABOUT YOU PUT ON A UNIFORM THAT MAKES YOU A TARGET EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU WALK OUT THE DOOR AND LIVE THAT LIFE...THEN MAYBE YOU CAN HAVE AN OPINION.  THIS MAN HAS A FAMILY TO GO HOME TO...THESE CRIMINALS WOULD JUST AS SOON SLIT AN OFFICERS THROAT THAN TO LOOK AT HIM OR HER...SO EXCUSE ME IF I'M NOT FEELING TOO SORRY FOR SOMEONE WHO IS GIVEN AN ORDER TO DROP A KNIFE BY POLICE, REFUSES TO OBEY, TELLS POLICE THEY'RE GOING TO NEED MANY MORE OFFICERS FOR WHAT HE HAS PLANNED AND THEN GETS SHOT. 

TexMarine
TexMarine

What, they couldn't borrow Dallas Countys MRAP?

oilman
oilman

This is a simple case in which these officers deserve fair treatment.  After all, they are people like the rest of us. They should be charged and prosecuted for the felonies (like attempted murder) that they have committed. They should serve decades in prison after a fair trial.  The police department should pay for the civil damages that it has become responsible for by turning these officers loose on the innocent public after a civil court trial decides how much should be payed for the damages.

If the victim dies, the shooter should get the death penalty for cold blooded murder....this is simple.

TexMarine
TexMarine

4 shots, 1 hit. Must be all that firearms training they get.

Daniel
Daniel

This story has now gone national.

FEDUP
FEDUP

That GODDAMNED DPD officer should be tried for MURDER, then when found quilty, taken out and shot in the head. The only difference from a criminal and a DPD officer is they wear a badge and a uniform, NO DAMN DIFFERENCE between the two. Come to my house and try that shit BOY!



Daniel
Daniel

If Chief Brown doesn't fire this officer, he will never again have a shred of credibility. 

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

EDITORS:

There's a reason to put linked videos "after the jump".  So they don't load AND RUN every time someone loads blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark  And so that the videos to follow don't keep loading and running on same page.

Just an observation.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 Cops always lie.  They lie even when the truth suits them better.  The only time they tell the truth is when they know that there is a video.  They didn't know about this video, so they lied.  Even when the guy actually did it, they'll still lie to punch it up or make it sound better or just from sheer laziness.  Cops are liars, they even have a name for it -- testilying.

Put a camera on every cop.  Make it a firing offense to turn it off when dealing with the public.  Every jurisdiction that has done this has not only seen a significant (as much as half) reduction in the use of force, they also see a huge drop in the number of complaints being filed.  Even if you think that people file frivolous complaints, the frivolous ones don't know/care that there is video -- the number goes down because the cops are more professional when they know that they are on video.

richsfunkyfeet
richsfunkyfeet

Police have tazers just for that sort of thing. There was no need for deadly force especially since they were- or should have been notified of the "victims" mental capacity. Everybody knows police have a dangerous job. We pay them for it, they work for the citizens. Somehow I think this last part gets overlooked. Perhaps police should have a mandatory volunteer day every month to reacquaint themselves with the communities they work in?    

IgnatiusJ
IgnatiusJ

Couldn't tell from the video, was the guy wearing a hoodie?

crimjunkie
crimjunkie

Wow.  That is really bad.  Really bad.

ebailey75057
ebailey75057

"To Protect and To Serve"?  Hardly.  This is nothing more than sanctioned brutality.  After being notified that the man was not right they go ahead and within 30 seconds pull thier guns and shoot him in the stomach?  In the freaking stomach!!!!!  These poor excuses for officers of the law  need to be brought up on attempted murder charges.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Spencer needs to be brought up on attempted murder charges.

lebowski300
lebowski300

"Suspect resisted" - DallasPD SOP §7.2

observist
observist

Wow - the cop car pulls up at 12:19:50 and they shot the guy within 30 seconds - and he didn't take a single step in their direction.   Too many police taser when the should talk, and shoot when they should taser.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Get real, if they can't use their toys and lie about it, recruiting goes in the dumper.

dingo
dingo

Only one officer is on administrative leave? Both of the officers signed the fictitious report.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

How anybody could ever believe anything a cop says after seeing their lies uncovered again and again and again really perplexes me.  And yet we routinely convict people based on nothing more than the "good word" of a single police officer.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@bvckvs 

Fortunately, he can't (yet) phase out security cameras used by private citizens.

biff51
biff51

@literateone : But there's still the little fact that the cop lied on his report. He said that the man was coming towards him with the knife over his head. The video proves that the cops statement is not true.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@literateone 

So, then, literate one, his mother told them that he said he wanted to "commit suicide by police" so they came to oblige him?

It doesn't wash, cop. Go polish you gun, you asshole.

fir3walker
fir3walker

@literateone  What about "To Serve and Protect?"

Or has that been amended - "To Serve and Protect OURSELVES?"

NotReallyThanks
NotReallyThanks

@literateone 587 and 120. One is the number of citizens killed by police. The other is the number of police who died on duty(mostly from traffic causes). I will let you guess which number is which. 

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@TexMarine 

Their problem was more one of character than of skill.

Wilson
Wilson

@FEDUP Umm, you are aware the victim (perp?) is still living?

Brian Nesbitt
Brian Nesbitt

@Daniel Chief Brown should be fired.  He is a menace.  His officers are menaces.  This officer shouldn't be fired he should be charged with attempted murder.

observist
observist

@everlastingphelps I think the cameras are a good idea, even if I don't think every cop is the bastard child of Hitler and Stalin. (figuratively, of course)

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

@everlastingphelps "Cops always lie".  Had to stop reading right there.  No credibility for the rest of your post.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

@dingo The leave isn't based on the report.  It's based on who fired the shots.


I think both should be on leave/suspended/fired.  In the future.  Based on the report and the video and testimony and other evidence.  So far, though, they've just been following routine.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

@James_the_P3 Isn't there a verse in the bible about "all have sinned and fallen short".  It's not just cops.  But we're more mad when it is.

Politicians, though, get a free pass, no?

observist
observist

@James_the_P3  Although, to be fair, all the good arrests and honest cop testimonies are not reported in the news.  They could be 95% honest, and we only see reports of the 5% that aren't. 

literateone
literateone

Like I said...neither of you is in law enforcement...don't have a clue what it's like to deal with these people or what it's like to be a target every time you walk out your door and yes protect themselves !  Protect and Serve doesn't mean you HAVE to die on duty

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @observist @everlastingphelps Actually, it's sadder than that.  They don't lie because they are evil, they lie because they've given up and accepted the bad apples' line that you have to lie to "beat the criminals".

verbmemolove
verbmemolove

@mcdallas Hell, yeah, we're mad when the people who take an oath to protect our safety and preserve our lives violate that oath. We SHOULD be more mad at any and every public servant who violates the trust of society. Law enforcement officers, like any other sworn public servant, should live lives that are above reproach, not lives that demonstrate that they believe they are above the law. And the law, Texas Penal Code Section 22.02(b)(2)(A), reflects the elevated expectations of law enforcement by elevating Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon from a second degree felony to a felony in the first degree when committed by a cop on the clock.

And for those who say that Spencer should be charged with Attempted Murder, it should be noted that a conviction for a murder attempt carries the same punishment as the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. To say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Spencer's intention was to murder Bennett may be too much to ask from a jury. Watching the video just once was enough to convince me that Spencer absolutely, knowingly and willingly assaulted Bennett with a deadly weapon... No thought-policing required.

Daniel
Daniel

@observist @James_the_P3 Yeah, and we never heard about all the things Ted Bundy did right, e.g., whipping up a pretty tasty batch of bacon and eggs. He did this every morning, but the press chose only to focus on the women he assaulted and killed. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @observist @James_the_P3 They are 100% liars when you realize that they have a duty to report the lies of the alleged 5%. 

Like the partner here.  He KNEW that there was no lunge, but do you think he blew the whistle on the knowingly false report from the shooter?  Hell no.  He's the 95% of cops that lie daily by keeping their mouths shut.

IgnatiusJ
IgnatiusJ

@observist @James_the_P3  There are MANY stories involving police actions in which there is no question, the officer(s) acted in a honest and/or appropriate manner.  You're making a generalization.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

@observist @James_the_P3 But to be equally fair, do you honestly believe that 95% of police testimonies are honest?  Do you honestly think that Officer Spencer's testimony in this case was an outlier--that he's usually honest, but that this was the one time he opted for dishonesty?

No.  That's silly.  And we know that's silly because Officer Spencer and and his partner both lied in their reports.  They lied, knowing that lying on an official report is a crime and a terminable offense, because . . . why?  Why would they run that kind of risk unless (1) they were each confident that the other would lie for them, and (2) they were each confident that they wouldn't be discovered.

And but for a well- (and unusually-) placed security camera, they wouldn't have been.

Sure, you can make the leap of faith that most cops are honest.  But it's a leap that Officer Spencer and his partner won't join you on.  They obviously believed that most are dishonest, and acted accordingly.  

And I have to wonder--who knows better the honesty of cops?  You?  Or another cop?

ExposeTruth
ExposeTruth

@observist @James_the_P3  

Bullshit about the 95% honest comment!  You have two officers show up on scene, both lie on the report.  That is 2 out of 2 = 100% crooked!  If you witness a crook being a crook, and do nothing about it, you are guilty by association!  Isn't that the logic PIGS like Spencer and his lying partner hold us accountable by?  I hope Spencer's family as well as his partner's experience the same injustice that Mr. Bennett experienced!  

PrivateVR
PrivateVR

@observist @James_the_P3 

You don't often hear about times when hospitals do their jobs right either. The issue is that this is what people in the medical field call "never" incidents, in that it's never okay for them to happen. Not once, no where, for no reason, ever. 

fir3walker
fir3walker

@literateone Ok... folks, listen to this guy:  Don't mess with Dallas Police Officers because it's THEIR prerogative to shoot you.  In their minds, no one is innocent!

After all, why else give them a gun if they can't use it whenever they want to?

Thanks for clearing that up, literate one!!

observist
observist

@Daniel @observist @James_the_P3  The idea was that 95% of cops may be honest, not that this particular cop may be honest 95% of the time, and lie about killing people the other 5% of the time.


IgnatiusJ
IgnatiusJ

@everlastingphelps @brussell8691 @observist @James_the_P3 "Always" and "never" are words to be used carefully.  Just because some, even assuming MANY police "lie" doesn't mean they all do.  The JWG analogy is pretty weak.  However, you're point about using video for all police encounters is a good idea.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@observist @James_the_P3 I'm with Observist here. Sure there are plenty of bad cops, but I believe the vast majority are good cops and people just trying to do their job. And it's a hard fucking job, so I give them a lot of leeway. No sane person wants to be making a traffic stop in Pleasant Grove at 3am on a Saturday but they end up doing it.

What these guys did was despicable, but it's very unfair to paint every cop with that brush. I'm sure we've all had a run-in with an asshole cop, but in my experience most of them have been respectful and fair if you're the same way.

observist
observist

@James_the_P3 @observist   I'm not closely involved enough with the police or the legal system to know what the exact honest/dishonest ratio might be.  Like most people, I'm probably over-influenced by crime fiction in books, TV and movies.   

I'm not inclined to like the police - I think the profession attracts a disproportionate number of unintelligent bullies, and I think the culture of the poiice tends to evolve towards treating citizens as a hindrance to their job as opposed to the reason for their job.   

Scenes like the one above and other stories of police abuse are especially enraging because we give police a lot of power with expectation they'll use it to protect innocent poeple, not exploit, intimidate, harass and injure them. That's why stories like this make the news.

However, there are, in fact, a lot - I believe a majority - of crimes and criminals that get dealt with appropriately.  95% honest means 1 in 20 is dishonest - with a population of 315m, that means there will still be tens of thousands of dishonest cops and/or police reports. 

So, despite my inclinations, I try not to paint ALL cops as bad when clearly some are.  Just like I try not to assume all Republicans are racists when clearly some are, not all Muslims are terrorists when clearly some are, not all black people are criminals when clearly some are, not all Christians handle snakes and think Jesus rode dinosaurs, etc. etc.

gabe48
gabe48

@ExposeTruth These officers are horrible, and you are likely right about 95% honesty being complete bullshit.  Cops lie and abuse their power, murder, and get away with it all the time.  That said, you wish harm upon the families of the officers; you know, the families that didn't pull the trigger and are innocent of this offense? 

You're a hypocrite. How can you bash the officers for this horrible and unjust shooting, and then turn around and wish harm upon those who had nothing to do with it? You are no better than these, "PIGS." 

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