Activist group Mothers Against Police Brutality slams shooting of mentally ill man

Police were still on the scene hours after officers shot an armed man in Red Bird.

Dallas police fire and charge officer who shot mentally ill man | US ...

24 Oct 2013 ... A Dallas police officer who shot a mentally ill man in a disputed incident caught
on tape has been fired and charged with felony aggravated ...

The activist Dallas group Mothers Against Police Brutality slammed officers’ fatal shooting of a mentally ill man during the weekend.

Police said Saturday that Jason Harrison, 38, charged at officers with a screwdriver in hand, prompting two officers to open fire. In a news release Monday, the group said they “are saddened and outraged over this latest mishandling of a person with a record of mental illness.”

The group asked if officers even waited “30 seconds” before they fired. But Deputy Police Chief Gil Garza said Saturday that the encounter was “very very very brief,” and that the officers were protecting themselves.

The group drew comparisons between Harrison’s death and the shooting of Bobby Bennett, a mentally ill man, last year outside his mother’s Rylie home. In that shooting, Officer Cardan Spencer shot Bennett, who had a knife, within seconds of arriving at the scene. Spencer’s partner’s account of the incident — that Bennett came at them with the knife — was used to charge Bennett with aggravated assault of a public servant, a first-degree felony.

A neighbor’s surveillance video showed that the account was false, and Spencer was fired and indicted.

The Mothers Against Police Brutality news release omits that police possibly have video of the incident from a uniform-worn camera, but includes all other parts of the police description of the incident.

The group demanded that the officers are put on desk duty, and that the department takes their weapons until the internal affairs investigation is complete. Of course, the department takes officers’ weapons when they are administrative leave.

They also called for Chief David Brown to review training procedures that teach officers how to handle the mentally ill.

The group is led by Collette Flanagan, the mother of a man who was fatally shot by a Dallas officer last year. The officer was not indicted.

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