Attorney says video contradicts police account of teen's shooting

Henry Bennett III, left, and Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Cano

WPEC

BELLE GLADE, Fla. -- The attorney for the family of a Florida teen shot and killed by police last year released dashcam video Tuesday they say contradicts a sheriff’s department’s claims the teen pointed a gun. Henry Bennett III, 19, was fatally shot by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Cano Jan. 16, 2016 after a traffic stop in Belle Glade.

Attorney Jasmine Rand on Tuesday announced the family is filing a lawsuit against Cano and Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, claiming excessive force. 

Sheriff’s officials say Bennett took off running after Cano pulled over a car he was driving. They say Cano ordered Bennett to stop and get on the ground, according to CBS affiliate WPEC. After a short chase, according to the sheriff’s office, Bennett turned and pointed a gun at Cano, who opened fire, fatally striking him.

But Rand says witnesses at the scene reported Bennett didn’t have a gun, including his girlfriend, who was riding in the car. Rand released police dashcam video that shows Bennett running from his car, apparently not holding a gun. A deputy can be heard yelling, “Get on the ground! Get on the ground now!” and moments later, four gunshots are heard.

The shooting is not seen on camera.

Rand said there wouldn’t have been enough time for Bennett, who was seen running at full speed, to stop, turn around and point a gun at the deputy. 

“This is not ‘The Matrix,’ this is not a John Wayne movie,” she said. She said the office’s version of events “doesn’t make any sense.”

Rand says Bennett was struck four times in the head, back and chest, not twice as the sheriff’s office has said, reports WPEC.

Rand said members of the community offered to give aid to Bennett, but Cano told everyone to stay back.

“If I had done that, I’d have been locked up right now,” Bennett’s father, Henry Bennett II, said at a Tuesday press conference.”[Cano] does it, he gets off, he gets to go back to work. I don’t think that’s justice.”

In August, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office said it would not file charges in the case because video and evidence supported Cano’s account of what happened.

In a statement to CBS News, the sheriff’s office said they don’t comment on litigation, and said the case had been investigated for criminal wrongdoing and cleared by the state’s attorney’s office.