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Dallas officer placed on leave after shooting at unarmed man

September 8, 2021 GMT

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas police officer is on leave pending an investigation after video from his body camera showed him shooting at an unarmed man, Police Chief Eddie Garcia said Wednesday.

No one was injured in the incident shortly before 9 p.m. Sept. 2 involving Officer Branson Grisham outside an East Dallas laundromat, Garcia said at a news conference.

Police had received complaints of men drinking, smoking and firing a gun into the air outside a laundromat. One man reportedly pointed a gun at a complainant. Arriving officers found a group of men matching a 911 caller’s descriptions, along with another man away from the group who also resembled the descriptions.

Grisham yelled for the man to stop and approached him, gun in hand, as the man ducked down an alley. Grisham caught up with the man, told him to show his hands, then fired his gun once, missing the man. Although Grisham said the man had his back turned and was fumbling in his front waistband, that was unclear from the video.

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Officers found no weapons on the man or at the scene, Garcia said.

“I’m thankful that no one was injured. However, after watching the bodycam footage, I have some concerns about the tactics which led to the shooting,” Garcia said. “As I’ve said many times: When we’re right, we’re right; when we stumble, we need to hold ourselves accountable.”

Police interviewed the man, found him cooperative and released him without charges, Garcia said, adding that evidence surrounding the shooting has been taken to the Dallas County grand jury for review.

A message left at a telephone number listed for Grisham was not immediately returned. A Dallas Police Association spokesman said the leadership declined comment.

Branson is a six-year veteran of the Dallas police force with a clean record and no previous shooting incidents, Garcia said.

“I’ll tell you this: From what I’ve seen about this officer, he’s an exceptional officer,” the chief said.

This was the fifth officer-involved shooting for the department this year.