Blame the New Orleans Police Department for that.
The 26-year-old Black male was reportedly shot in the head at an otherwise routine traffic stop last week. Only thing is, the NOPD were reluctant to report it two days after the incident.
Was there fear of likening to the two aforementioned cases of police murdering unarmed African-Americans? Probably so. Was it a sketchy scenario? You bet your ass it was.
Bennett was in an intensive care unit on Tuesday and was still recovering at the hospital Wednesday, said attorney Nandi Campbell, who visited him in the hospital.
The man’s brother was in the car at the time, and said he heard two shots fired by a female officer, Campbell said. The brother reported they were confronted by officers with their guns drawn while parked near the Tall Timbers subdivision, where one of them is a resident.
Details about what prompted the confrontation remain scarce. NOPD on Monday said only that an officer was wounded on the job, in what the department described as an “officer needs assistance” call, in which an officer’s life was in danger. The department, despite receiving requests for information and records, did not disclose that anyone was shot.
The NOPD only confirmed the shooting after this story was published.
NOPD said once Bennett is released from the hospital, he will be booked on five outstanding warrants from Orleans and Jefferson parishes, including possession of marijuana, illegal possession of a weapon, resisting an officer, resisting an officer and criminal damage to property.
Despite the criminal charges Bennett is facing, New Orleans Police Department Chief Ronal Serpas publicly apologized for his force’s failure to disclose all of the information of the case.
“It is highly unusual in your own history with me in the last five years that we have not reported an event where an officer’s been arrested – we obviously do that – when they’ve been involved in the discharge of a weapon, we obviously do that. What I hope is the case, that evidence is on our side, that this is not what we normally do,” he said.
Photo: Family Handout