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Protests Erupt After Cops Shoot Homeless Man Despite Video Showing His Attack On Them

Oklahoma City, OK – Activists have already begun protesting the officer-involved shooting on Friday afternoon of a homeless man, even though there’s a video that shows he charged at them with a knife.

The incident occurred just after noon on Dec. 11 when police responded to a complaint for a homeless man on the sidewalk in front of Extra Cash Gold & Loan in the 2000-block of W. Hefner Road, KFOR reported.

Oklahoma City police said the business owner did not want the homeless man camped out in front of his business.

Officers responded to the business and quickly learned that the homeless man – later identified as Bennie Edwards – had a knife, KFOR reported.

They called for backup and once another officer arrived on the scene, they approached Edwards.

Oklahoma City police officials said the officers attempted to subdue Edwards using less-lethal measures, KFOR reported.

“They attempted to deescalate the situation in an effort to get the suspect to drop the knife,” the police department said in part. “Officers deployed a Taser and OC Spray, both of which were ineffective. The suspect refused to drop the knife and ran toward officers at which time officers discharged their firearms and shot the suspect.”

A witness filmed a cell phone video of the final seconds of the officers’ encounter with Edwards and posted it to social media.

It’s important to note that the cell phone video of the incident began after police had already deployed both a Taser and pepper spray at Edwards to no avail.

The video showed that Edwards charged at the officers with a knife.

First, Edward lunged at the officer directly in front of him, and that officer opened fire.

Then the suspect quickly ducked to the left and went in the direction of a second officer, who had taken cover behind a police SUV, the video showed.

That officer also shot at Edwards.

A total of six shots can be heard in the video.

Authorities said Edwards was pronounced dead at the scene, KFOR reported.

Oklahoma City police said one officers sustained minor injuries but was expected to be okay.

Edwards’ family members and community activists gathered at the scene shortly after the shooting, KFOR reported.

Protesters said officers should have done more to de-escalate the situation rather than resorting to lethal force.

Edwards’ relatives told reporters at the scene that their relative had suffered from schizophrenia, KFOR reported.

Protesters clashed with officers at the scene after the shooting, but a larger protest has been planned for Friday night in front of Oklahoma City Police Department headquarters.

Details about a larger protester on Saturday are circulating on social media.

Despite clear video of Edwards charging at the officers, social media was wild with outrage over the shooting.

“Today OKCPD killed a man,” Nicole McAfee tweeted. “They killed a Black man. They killed a Black man in crisis, who was running away from them. We know this because, this time, we don’t have to wait for the body cam footage. It was caught on someone’s phone, as they sat in their car in the parking lot.”

All of the officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave, as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings, the Oklahoma City Police Department said in its statement.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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