Thursday, October 24, 2013
Dallas cop fired, to be charged with aggravated assault for shooting of mentally ill man
Police Chief David Brown said, “Officers are not above the law.”
DALLAS Dallas police Officer Cardan Spencer, who shot a mentally ill man and then filed a false police report regarding the circumstances, has been fired and now faces aggravated assault charges, Dallas News reported today. The department also raised questions about why Spencer's partner backed up his erroneous report:
The two officers said Spencer shot Bennett outside his home after he stepped toward them and threatened them with a knife. But a neighborhood surveillance video cast doubt on that sequence of events, and an initial charge against Bennett was dropped.
“There were no two steps,” Brown said, noting that investigators also reviews dash-cam footage of the shooting. “There was no raising of the knife.”
[Officer Christopher] Watson claimed “acute stress” may have colored his statement after his partner shot Bennett, but the chief cast doubt on that explanation and called for a supplemental internal affairs investigation into the officer’s actions.
“We were really taken aback that the first statement written by Officer Watson was not what happened,” [Dallas Police Chief David] Brown said.
Hard to interpret these events any other way than Spencer covering his own ass through a false report and Watson similarly covering for Spencer. If there had been no home surveillance video, who thinks anyone would have believed witnesses contradicting the officers' accounts? According to the Dallas Observer, this is the first time since 1973 a Dallas police officer has faced criminal charges related to an on-duty shooting.
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