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Police Chief Drops Charges Against Man Shot By Officers

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Late Friday afternoon Dallas Police Chief David Brown ordered that the charges be dropped against a man shot by officers earlier this week.

The controversy surrounding the incident began when surveillance video recently surfaced.

The officers’ account of what happened, doesn’t match up, with what is seen in the video. The police report filed by the officer’s state that Bobby Bennett, 53, lunged at them with a knife.

It’s been four days since Bennett was shot in front of his home by Dallas police officers and his mother, Joyce Jackson, was prevented from seeing him in the hospital. Until today Bennett was arrested, technically in police custody, charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Public Servant.

But the man, who family members say suffers from schizophrenia, is now technically free. Friday afternoon Chief Brown issued a statement saying:

“I have ordered that the Aggravated Assault charges be dropped against Bobby Gerald Bennett immediately and we will be assisting his mother with visitation at the hospital.”

Now Jackson, who was only permitted to get updates on her son’s medical condition over the phone, will be able to see Bennett face-to-face. She said she has been desperate to be by her son’s side. “They [hospital workers] can tell you all day long that he’s okay and he’s stable,” she said, adding, “He’s got a breathing tube down and the wound is not closed up, but it’s not like being right there at his bedside.”

It was around noon on Monday when Jackson called Dallas police for help because her son was off his medication and was sitting outside with a knife.

Police officers stated in their report that Bennett lunged at them, causing them to fire their weapons. But security video from a neighbor’s house show Bennett standing still, with his arms by his side, when police opened fire.

Earlier Friday attorney George Milner mirrored the feelings of Bennett’s family saying, “What needs to happen is the Dallas Police Department needs to release that charge, because that video shows there is no probably cause to hold him for Aggravated Assault. He needs to be released from custody.”

And that’s exactly what happened just a few hours later. Dallas police officials say they are still looking into the incident and will turn the case over to the district attorney’s office once the investigation is complete.

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