Dallas police seek indictment for officer

DALLAS – Dallas police will seek a grand jury indictment against an officer who was fired after shooting a mentally ill man in a disputed incident caught on tape, police said Thursday.

Police Chief David Brown apologized for the actions of Officer Cardan Spencer, who had been on administrative leave following the Oct. 14 shooting.

Brown said at a news conference that Spencer had been fired and was charged with felony aggravated assault, but police later issued a statement saying a judge directed detectives to take the case to a grand jury.

“Officers are not above the law,” Brown said at the news conference.

“We as a police department are not going to look the other way.”

Spencer’s attorney, Robert Lee Rogers, said he expects a grand jury will find that his client’s actions were justified.

“My client believed he acted the way he was trained to act by the Dallas Police Department,” said Rogers, adding that Spencer will file an appeal to try and get his job back.

A police reports says that Spencer shot Bobby Gerald Bennett last week after the 52-year-old man lunged at him and another officer with a knife. But video captured by a neighbor’s surveillance camera shows Bennett didn’t appear to move toward the officers before he was shot and crumpled to the ground.

Spencer is listed in the police report as the officer who filed it. But Rogers said it was the other officer who wrote in the report that Bennett lunged at Spencer.