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.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.