After Policeman Shoots Teen at Traffic Stop, Mob Gathers in Belle Glade
Update: At 7:40 p.m., the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office released the following statement:
Just after 11:00 am this morning a PBSO deputy was affecting a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling in the area of SW 9th Street and Avenue D, Belle Glade. As the deputy was exiting his vehicle the driver simultaneously exited his vehicle and began to run away. The deputy shouted “stop”, “stop”, “get on the ground”, as he followed after the driver. After a short foot chase the driver turned towards the deputy, with gun in hand, and pointed it at the deputy. In fear for his life, the deputy discharged his firearm striking the driver twice. The male driver was pronounced dead on scene.
The male driver has been identified as Henry Bennett, DOB: 10/23/96, of Belle Glade.
The deputy is currently on paid administrative leave which is standard department protocol.
This is an active criminal investigation being led by detectives from the Violent Crimes Division along with investigators from the PBC State Attorney’s Office. A PBA Union representative was on scene.
Henry Bennett has a past of Possession of Drugs, Domestic Battery/Violence, and Violation of NO Contact Order.
A young black man was shot in the head during a traffic stop at 11 a.m. Saturday at Southwest Ninth Street and Avenue D in Belle Glade, a working class city in western Palm Beach County. . Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw spoke at scene this afternoon and stated that a gun was recovered. Gossip Extra, a website run by former Sun Sentinel cops reporter Jose Lambiet is reporting the victim is 19 year old Henry Bennett and the cop is sheriff's deputy Andrew Cano.
New Times called and left messages with the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office for comment and more information. We'll update this post if we hear back.
The reason for the traffic stop is unclear, but it was not Bennett's first run-in with the law. Since September he has been arrested twice for battery and again in November for a probation violation. On social media, Bennett is seen posing with guns and smoking marijuana. Gossip Extra reports that his mother Felicia Mitchell is a deputy at the main jail.
According to the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office Internal Affair's Report, Cano received seven use of force complaints in 2014. (The numbers for 2015 are still not out.)
Witnesses on the scene are reporting conflicting stories, the Palm Beach Post reports. One person says to have heard five shots. Another person says Bennett was running away when he was shot. Another person claims that Cano stood over Bennett's body crying.
PBSO deputies trying to control an angry crowd after fatal shooting in Belle Glade this morning. pic.twitter.com/y5q7HJ8EnF— Kevin D. Thompson (@KevinDThompson1) January 16, 2016
Afterwards, a throng of residents gathered outside the yellow crime scene tape with questions about what just occurred in their typically quiet neighborhood. Other media outlets are reporting a riot. On social media, residents are saying that they just have questions. At 2 p.m. Gossip Extra reports that three mobile command buses, several vans stuffed with helmeted deputies, and more than a dozen squad cars were spotted leaving PBSO headquarters.
Officer-invovled shooting comes just three months after 31-year-old musician Corey Jones was shot on I-95 in Palm Beach Gardens by Officer Nouman Raja. In an unmarked van, Raja stopped by Jones's broken down car, which Raja believed to be abandoned. Raja has since been fired.
It's unclear what will happen to Cano. Typically in officer-involved shootings the officer is placed on administrative leave during the investigation.
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