DALLAS (AP) — A veteran Dallas police officer was fired Monday for shooting an unarmed man, becoming the second officer dismissed since October in shootings superiors have deemed unjustified.
Police Chief David Brown fired Senior Cpl. Amy Wilburn, who came under scrutiny for wounding a 19-year-old carjacking suspect Dec. 9. A witness told investigators the suspect had his hands raised at the time.
Wilburn's attorney, Robert Rogers, told The Dallas Morning News that the 48-year-old corporal has more than 200 commendations in her 12-year career. He said Wilburn feared for her life when she shot Kelvion Walker.
Wilburn had responded to an apartment complex where a car was seen that police say was taken in carcjacking. As officers approached, the driver jumped from the vehicle and fled. With the car still moving, Wilburn approached to stop it. Rogers said she did not expect a passenger to be inside and was surprised to see Walker.
Wilburn saw Walker's left hand, but he didn't comply when ordered to show his right, Rogers said, explaining that she shot Walker because she believed he was reaching for a weapon.
But officials said in a statement posted on the Dallas police Facebook page that Wilburn "rushed the vehicle and did not maintain distance without taking the time a reasonable officer would approaching a vehicle with armed suspects."
The department faulted her for reholstering her weapon and rushing to the passenger side of the car, which is contrary to protocol, the statement said.
"A reasonable officer in fear for their safety would not have approached the vehicle in this manner," the statement said.
Walker, who has not been charged in the carjacking, has since been released from the hospital, the Morning News reported. He has filed a lawsuit against Wilburn.
In a separate incident in October, Dallas officer Cardan Spencer shot a mentally ill man who was standing with his arms at his side while holding a knife. A resident's surveillance camera captured the shooting, and the video contradicted initial police claims that the man approached Spencer and his partner in a threatening manner.
Spencer was fired and his partner was reprimanded.
Brown has enacted a series of policy changes, including revising how the department trains officers and testing body cameras that officers will wear in the field.