DALLAS -- It is a case of video versus a police officer. And the video proves the officer wrong.
"Cops are not superhuman. They have fear, but that fear has to be reasonable," said Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
In this case, reasonable steps were not taken, he said.
Brown said former Dallas Police Officer Cardan Spencer heard things we did not hear. As they were sending him to the call on Crimnson Court on Oct. 14, the 911 dispatchers told Spencer Bobby Bennett had a knife and wanted to die, and had tried to get police officers to shoot him before.
Perhaps that upped Spencer's stress level, said Brown, but it doesn't excuse the shooting. And it certainly doesn't excuse the officer's official statement completely contradicting the facts.
"I always say, 'There but for the grace of God go I' on these incidents," Brown said. "Managing your fear is easy when you're Monday morning quarterbacking these incidents."
As the Dallas Police Department terminated Spencer Thursday,police were also building a criminal case against him. They planned to arrest him for aggravated assault, but a district judge refused to sign the arrest warrant.
The judge instead directed officers to take the case to a grand jury -- a rare move, according to former State District Judge John Creuzot, who sat on the bench more than two decades.
"I don't know that I've ever really seen it," he said. "It's pretty easy to get an arrest warrant signed. All you're submitting is that there is cause to believe the person probably committed an offense, and that's a very low standard. It doesn't mean the person is guilty."
Cruezot said going before a grand jury doesn't change the case.
Dallas Police Officers Association President Ron Pinkston would not speak with WFAA, but told the Dallas Morning News the judge's refusal tells him there are questions about the case.
Shooting victim Bobby Bennett's mother is glad her questions are answered, but she's not feeling good knowing Spencer's lost his job. Joyce Jackson said her son reminded her Spencer's family would suffer the consequences.
"It's a good day, but it's a bad day," Jackson said.
Her neighbor, Maurice Bunch, is the reason video of the incident was made public. His surveillance camera captured the shooting.
"His whole career is gone," Bunch said of Spencer. "I feel for him."
He said Spencer's termination was a moral certainty -- something that had to be done.
Chief David Brown said Spencer was emotional during his termination hearing Thursday morning. He said he showed regret.
"This is his career," Brown said, "and potentially, his freedom."
Spencer's attorney, Robert Rogers, said he would appeal the termination to the city manager, a process that takes time. He also said he's going to do his own thorough investigation, questioning the Dallas Police Department's investigation, which lasted nine days.
"This was ram-rodded through due to media and political pressure," Rogers said.
He said his client was not treated fairly and he pledges to get to the truth.