Ex-Dallas Cop Carden Spencer Indicted For Shooting a Mentally Ill Rylie Man

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For 41 years, no Dallas police officer faced charges for an on-duty shooting. With Tuesday's indictment of former officer Carden Spencer, there have been two in the past week.

Spencer, if you'll recall, shot a mentally ill man in a Rylie cul-de-sac in October. He and his partner said the man, 52-year-old Bobby Gerald Bennett, charged at them with a knife, but a neighbor's surveillance video called that account into question. Bennett was sitting in a chair when officers arrived. Spencer, the video shows, opens fire when Bennett stands up, hitting him four times in the stomach.

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

Bennett survived -- he's now suing DPD -- and the aggravated assault on a public servant charge against him, for supposedly charging officers with a raised knife, was dropped after the neighbor's video emerged.

Spencer, like Wilburn, is being charged with aggravated assault, according to WFAA.

The announcement was welcomed as a positive step by Mothers Against Police Brutality, the activist group founded by Collette Flanagan after her unarmed son was killed by Dallas police. But the circumstances that led to the Wilburn and Spencer indictments -- in the former case, an eye witness, backed by dash cam footage, saying the unarmed victim had his hands in the air, in the latter, a fortuitously placed surveillance camera -- are exceptional, the group says, and charges are still too rare.

See also: Ex-Dallas Cop Amy Wilburn Indicted for Shooting Unarmed Teen in Pleasant Grove

"While this is some progress, we will continue to work to hold DPD accountable for shooting DEATHS even when there is no video and all forensic and witness tell us that our children were murdered by policemen," the group wrote on its Facebook page on Tuesday. "There is still justice needed for victims and families that lives have been taken by these policemen that got a "pass" we will not rest until we bring these killers in uniform to justice."

There's also considerable distance between an indictment and a conviction, and between a conviction and just punishment. The cop who murdered 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez in 1973 was convicted but was sentenced to a mere five years.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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9 comments
TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Remember, filming cops compromises their safety.

likemike107
likemike107

Im just gonna start carrying a Go-Pro on me every where I go. Can't trust anyone anymore. Corruption at its worst. 

hilllbillle
hilllbillle

whitewhale has a dam good question. why is the perjuring partner not up on charges with him? why is the lying pos still a gun totin' cop, free to lie the same way for another criminal next time?

Greg820
Greg820

If not for the surveillance camera the lies of he and his partner would have gone unquestioned and even the eyewitness would have been blown off. The DPD needs body cameras, pure and simple, along with firearms training a little more involved than "shoot when in range."  If I remember correctly, this was a team specifically trained to intervene with the mentally ill. I guess the training was "fire for effect."


WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

How about the conspiracy to lie about the crime?  Why is his partner in crime not being charged?

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Cops crying about increased accountability. Well sorry that reducing your ability to kill, officially oppress, etc is a burden. Deal with it or quit.

Dub919
Dub919

@TheRuddSki Which reminds me of why DPD SWAT requests (and gets) temporary flight restrictions during standoffs.  It's not for safety of air traffic; it's to keep those meddlin' news choppers far enough away to keep the details of any police shooting fuzzy enough to insert reasonable doubt that the suspect "aimed a weapon".

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

@WhiteWhale Agreed completely.  His partner needs to be charged with falsifying a public document.


If the Mothers really want to cut down on police abuse, then they need to go after the code of silence that facilitates it.  And that means prosecuting partners and other police witnesses who consistently and uniformly cover up the misdeeds of their coworkers.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Dub919

There is a disturbing trend - authorities want greater access to our info, as in black boxes in autos, street cams, unfettered access to our digital media, net tracking - while seeking to limit our access to them.

This goes right up to the White House, and even political supporters are beginning to notice.

One reason I want a republican - any republican - elected to the presidency is so the press will wake the fuck up to this, without fear of offending someone.

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