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Police shooting in Dallas will be taken to grand jury

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 8:33 p.m.

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 on Thursday.

Police Chief David Brown apologized for the actions of Officer Cardan Spencer, who had been on administrative leave since 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 wrote in a police report that he 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.

Brown said two people who had witnessed the shooting from a nearby parked vehicle later came forward and corroborated what could be seen on the video.

He said investigators interviewed Bennett in his hospital room on Friday and he told them he was suicidal at the time and wanted to be shot.

Bennett remains hospitalized in stable condition. He initially was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a public servant, but Brown announced last week that the charge would be dropped.

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