DALLAS Dallas Police Chief David Brown on Monday tried to keep News 8 out of a public Town Hall meeting with citizens.

The chief also refused to speak publicly to calm concerns about a surveillance video that shows an officer shooting and wounding a mentally ill man one week ago.

The images contradict a sworn affidavit by the officer who opened fire on 53-year-old Bobby Gerald Bennett.

Chief Brown has said he won't have answers about the circumstances of that shooting until an investigation is complete.

But when an attempt was made to question Chief Brown about the progress of that investigation at Monday's crime safety meeting at the department's South Central Patrol unit, the doors were shut on the media.

Dallas police commanders initially told us we were not allowed in to ask questions about the shooting of Bennett, because that was not the topic of the meeting. But after News 8 complained to the city's chief public relations officer, we were finally allowed inside.

'We tried not to bring them in here, but they insisted,' Chief Brown told his audience.

Since Thursday, News 8 has been trying to get answers from the chief and DPD about the surveillance video that was first broadcast on WFAA. It shows Bobby Bennett, a mentally ill man, being shot by a Dallas police officer despite the fact that he is standing still and complying with orders.

'There's legal issues that I've expressed by e-mail that are of a significant concern,' Chief Brown said when asked about the shooting incident. 'So I'm not going to be commenting until the investigation is complete.'

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings also declined to comment on the incident until after he discusses it with Chief Brown, a meeting that is supposed to take place this week.

Dallas police have been aware of the surveillance video since the October 14 shooting.

Still, Bennett was charged with aggravated assault of a police officer. It wasn't until our story was broadcast that those charges were dropped.

There is mounting concern from citizens about the video, and few answers from police.

Chief Brown said the investigation will take a few more days; only then will he sit down and answer all questions.

Meanwhile, some civil rights advocates continue to press for a federal investigation into this case.


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