Dallas mayor, police chief to meet this week about disputed shooting

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by MARIE SAAVEDRA

Bio | Email | Follow: @MSaavedraTV

WFAA

Posted on October 20, 2013 at 11:00 PM

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DALLAS — Surveillance video is at the heart of a story about a mentally ill man who was confronted by Dallas police.

What that camera captured could lead to lawsuits and legal fees, but days after News 8 first broadcast the footage, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings hasn't seen it.

"Look, I've got to get all the facts before I decide what we need to do," Rawlings said Sunday afternoon.

In the video, Bobby Bennett is seen in the street sitting in a chair. His mother said he was agitated on October 14, so she called Dallas police.

Once at the scene, Officer Cardan Spencer fired four shots. One hit Bennett in the stomach.

The officer said Bennett came toward him, but that's not what the video shows.

Mayor Rawlings is waiting to watch that recording until after he speaks with police Chief David Brown.

“I'm going to be meeting with him this week, and we're going to be talking about what happened and what he's finding out in the process," the mayor said.

Officer Spencer is on indefinite leave; Bennett remains at Baylor University Medical Center.

Joyce Jackson, Bennett's mother, visited him on Friday afternoon.

“I couldn't touch his hand or anything, but he was alert, and I'm able to just sit in the chair beside him,” she said.

While Bennett recovers, his mother is working with attorneys.

Dallas police are conducting their own internal investigation.

Mayor Rawlings looks forward to that report, but said what happened on October 14 shouldn't shake people's faith in the Dallas Police Department or Chief Brown.

“He has a very clear path about of how police officers should do their job," Rawlings said. "When they sway off of that, he doesn't tolerate it. So I think the citizens should be proud of our chief, and proud of our institution of police officers."

In our conversation with Mayor Rawlings, he also said mental illness is an important issue, and how police and law enforcement deal with it can be a touchy topic.

As for Bennett, he's expected to remain hospitalized for some time.

E-mail msaavedra@wfaa.com

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