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Criminal Justice

OKC Police Name Officers Who Killed Bennie Edwards

Protesters gathered in downtown Oklahoma City after Bennie Edwards was killed by local police.
Quinton Chandler
/
StateImpact Oklahoma
Protesters gathered in downtown Oklahoma City after Bennie Edwards was killed by local police.

Master Sgt. Keith Duroy and Sgt. Clifford Holman are the Oklahoma City police officers who shot and killed Bennie Edwards, Friday.

Oklahoma City Police Department spokesperson Capt. Daniel Stewart confirmed neither officer has completed CIT or Crisis Intervention Team training – CIT is a voluntary 40-hour training program that teaches officers how to respond to people suffering a mental health crisis.

Only 14% of Oklahoma City police officers have taken it.

The department does require all officers to take 16 hours of mental health training in its academy and they are required to take 2 hours additional training annually.

A joint investigation by Oklahoma Watch and StateImpact found the number of mental health calls the department responded to increased 95% between 2013 and 2019.

Duroy has 28 years of police experience and Holman has seven years experience.

Both officers responded to a disturbance call outside a strip mall in North Oklahoma City. The police were told that Bennie Edwards, a 60-year-old Black man, was bothering customers.

Edward’s family says he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and regularly sold flowers around the city.

Capt. Daniel Stewart says the department will release body camera footage of the encounter after an investigation is finished and the district attorney’s office makes a decision regarding the shooting.

Stewart also identified a third officer seen confronting Edwards in bystander cell phone video. Master Sgt. Michael Smith has 25-years-experience. He did not fire his weapon. Smith also does not have CIT training.

Asked whether Duroy or Holman had been involved in past shootings, Stewart said that information was not yet available.

Editor’s Note: This story and headline were corrected to reflect CIT stands for Crisis Intervention Team. The story also includes additional details on the mental health training Oklahoma City police officers are required to complete. 

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