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PBSO pays $325K to family of Henry Bennett III after fatal deputy-involved shooting in Belle Glade

Posted at 10:00 AM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 19:34:18-05

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office has settled a wrongful death suit after a deputy shot and killed a man in Belle Glade two years ago.

Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Cano fatally shot Henry Bennett III, 19, in Belle Blade in January 2016 during a traffic stop.

Dash camera video was the key evidence at the center of a now $325,000 settlement between the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and Bennett's family.

Jasmine Rand is the Bennett family’s attorney. 

She says the video and now the settlement is proof that her client did not point a gun at the deputy who shot and killed him in January 2016. 

“I do not believe that the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office would have entered into a settlement in the amount of $325,000 if they honestly believed my client turned around and had a gun in his hand and pointed it point blank range at one of their officers.”

That was the deputy’s version of events. He was ultimately cleared by the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office of any criminal wrongdoing.
The Sheriff’s Office says there was a gun recovered underneath Bennett’s body. Yet Rand says there are no evidence pictures of the gun under her clients' body. And she says the gun deputies claim was recovered would have been clearly visible in his hand. 

“In almost every settlement, most of the time the defendant does deny liability. But I think the number kind of speaks for itself, that there’s obviously some liability that the defendant sheriff’s office had.”

Unlike other high profile use-of-force lawsuits against the PBSO, such as the case of Dontrell Stephens, the money cannot be overturned because it was an agreement by both sides.  

  PBSO released the following statement when asked for comment regarding the settlement: 

"As a general policy the Sheriff's Office does not comment on any legal settlements because each case has its own set of unique legal complexities and issues. Each case is settled based on those complexities and always in the best interest of the Palm Beach County taxpayers."