Oklahoma Officer Charged with Manslaughter After Shooting a Homeless Black Man In the Back Three Times as He Ran Away

Bennie Edwards, a 60-year-old homeless man, died after Sgt. Clifford Holman, 36, shot him in the back multiple times as he ran away. (Photo: The Oklahoman/YouTube screenshot)

An Oklahoma City officer has been charged with first-degree manslaughter in the December shooting death of a homeless Black man.

The shooting happened last year on Dec. 11 in the 2100 block of West Hefner Road in Oklahoma City.

Bennie Edwards, a 60-year-old homeless man, died after Sgt. Clifford Holman, 36, shot him in the back multiple times as he ran away.

Bennie Edwards, a 60-year-old homeless man, died after Sgt. Clifford Holman, 36, shot him in the back multiple times as he ran away. (Photo: The Oklahoman/YouTube screenshot)
The Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police has defended Holman amid the criminal charges filed this week, saying in a statement, that the officer “upheld his duty and followed the law.”

“Sgt. Clifford Holman dropped his Taser unit, drew his service weapon and fired three shots unnecessarily at Mr. Edwards as he was running away, striking him in his upper middle back, causing his death,” court documents stated. Edwards was pronounced dead at the scene.

Footage of the shooting taken by a witness was shared to social media, and the incident sparked days of protests and calls for Police Chief Wade Gourley to be fired and for Mayor David Holt to resign.

Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson with Black Lives Matter-OKC applauded the decision to charge Holman, calling it “simple logic.”

“So I don’t know how [Oklahoma County] DA [David] Prater could come to any other conclusion than to do what was just and to press charges against the officer,” Dickerson said.

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