OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — An Oklahoma City police officer is facing charges following a deadly shooting in December.
On Dec. 11, 2020, Oklahoma City police officers were called to a disturbance outside a store in the 2100 block of W. Hefner Rd.
When they arrived at the scene, they were met by 60-year-old Bennie Edwards, who was carrying a knife.
“The subject actually came towards the officer and the officer backed away, called for backup, and actually called for less lethal support,” said Capt. Dan Stewart, with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Police said after taking other measures like using pepper spray and a taser, he didn’t drop the knife. Two of the three officers at the scene then opened fire, killing Edwards.
“We would like this situation to resolve with no force, we’d like for him to drop the knife and for us to take him into custody,” Stewart said. “Unfortunately, it just didn’t end that way.”
Edwards was pronounced dead at the scene.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater announced on Thursday he was filling a charge of first-degree manslaughter against Sgt. Clifford Holman. However, no charges were being filed against MSgt. Keith Duroy for his involvement.
“There are always many things to consider when determining whether or not an officer’s use of deadly force is lawfully justified or not. Any loss of human life is tragic, and I take these decisions very seriously,” District Attorney David Prater said in a statement.
The Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police released the following the statement:
“The OKC FOP stands by Sgt. Holman, who followed his training when an armed suspect charged another officer. A loss of life is always a tragedy, but officers must be able to protect one another when de-escalation tactics are ineffective.
In this situation, when faced with a disturbed individual armed with a deadly weapon, our officers used multiple methods of de-escalation and less-lethal options to try to avoid the use of deadly force. When those efforts were ineffective, the officers were put in peril when they were charged by the armed person. We maintain that Sgt. Holman upheld his duty and followed the law.
We know these are trying times for Sgt. Holman and his family, and we’re here for them. The FOP thanks every officer who puts on a badge to protect and serve, despite this challenging environment.”
Holman has been with the department for 7 years and is on paid administrative leave.
This is a developing story.