The common criteria for a legal defensive gun use: the shooter is facing an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm and imminence is imminent. That last bit is often ignored but vitally important. The attacker must be in the act of attacking. In this case, the Dallas, Texas officers knew Bobby Gerald Bennett was mentally unhinged. They knew he had a knife. He was within striking distance (their choice but still). The threat was imminent and credible. But Bennett did NOT move towards the officers. If he had taken one step the cops would have been within their legal rights to shoot him. But he didn’t, despite the official police report, which included the word “lunge.” (Oops!) If there hadn’t been a video . . . But there was. And so . . .
Police Chief David Brown made the announcement [that he was firing Officer Spencer] Thursday and apologized for the officer’s actions. At a news conference Thursday Brown stated that Officer Cardan Spencer was charged in the incident, but a judge declined to sign a warrant and the case will go to a grand jury instead.
There is no way a Dallas cop will face the same penalties a “normal” civilian would encounter if he’d done the same thing. You have been warned.