Police union weighs in on Henry Bennett video - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Police union weighs in on Henry Bennett video

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The Palm Beach Police Benevolent Association is weighing in on the recently released video of the shooting of Henry Bennett III.

Ernie George, executive director of the association, says he watched the video several times and the family’s case doesn't hold much weight. 
 
“They don't know what happened, and I don't know what happened, cause I wasn't there,” George says.
 
Ernie George, executive director of the county's police union, says this video simply doesn't show enough. 

RELATED: Video released in deadly PBSO deputy-involved shooting of Henry Bennett in Belle Glade
 
“When people are trying to get money in a lawsuit, they're going to portray it whatever is the best way for them,” he says.
 
He says the footage does little to change his stance on Deputy Andrew Cano's actions that January morning. 
 
George says those actions were necessary, considering the current climate. 
 
“In the last couple years, the bad guys don't hesitate to shoot a law enforcement officer,” he says.
 
Bennett's family, however, maintains the 19-year-old did not have a gun. 
 
George admits it's tough to tell from the video. 
 
“From watching on the computer, I couldn't even tell if he did have anything in his hands,” he says.
 
He says he supports the deputy's account and the state attorney's conclusion that Bennett had a gun. 

We also asked about the officer’s verbal commands.

In the video, you can hear the deputy tell Bennett to get on the ground - he doesn’t tell him to drop the gun.

George says that command to get on the ground is a natural first command for deputies when a suspect is attempting to flee.

He says everything after that happened very quickly.
 
“The officer must've saw the gun and started firing. You don't wait till someone shoots at you before you try to take somebody out that's going to point a gun at you.” 
 
At the end of the day, he says it's a decision that the deputy has to live with forever. 
 
“I would've done the same thing,” George says. “If someone turns on me who has a gun, or starts to turn and I see a gun, I'm going to get the first shot off because I'm going home at night.” 

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