Who is Clifford Holman? Cop who shot dead Oklahoma Black man Bennie Edwards charged with manslaughter
Edwards' family has claimed that he was suffering from 'schizophrenia and bipolar disorder'
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA: An Oklahoma City police officer has been charged with first-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of the 60-year-old homeless Black man. Clifford Holman shot Bennie Edwards to death on December 11, 2020, according to the charging documents. The shooting took place in the 2100 block of West Hefner Road, near Hefner and Penn. in Oklahoma City.
The police statement reads, “On or about the 11th day December 2020, the crime of Manslaughter in the First Degree was feloniously committed in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, by Clifford Holman, who willfully, unlawfully, and unnecessarily killed Bennie Edwards, by shooting him with a firearm, after an attempt by the deceased to commit a crime had failed, and thereby caused his death on 11th day of December 2020.”
The court documents filed on Thursday, February 25, state that the officers responded to a report of a man “bothering customers”. Sgt. Keith Duroy was the first one to arrive on the scene and tried speaking with Edwards. The authorities noted that Edwards “opened up a folding knife” he had in his right hand and told the officer to leave. Duroy sought assistance from additional units, including a unit with a Taser.
Sgt. Holman, who is a certified Taser operator, arrived on the scene. The court documents state that when Edwards continued to tell officers to leave, Holman reportedly deployed his Taser at Edwards on “two separate occasions with no effect.” Edwards is also said to have been sprayed with OC gas.
The documents further cite that after the second Taser was deployed at Edwards, he turned towards Duroy and started running towards him with the knife still in his hand, before turning east and storming off in another direction. “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,” the court documents read.
"Based on the above information, your affiant believes Clifford Holman is in violation of title 21, section 711.3 (Manslaughter in the First Degree) of the Oklahoma State Statutes," it further states.
Oklahoma City police stated that “Sgt. Clifford Holman. Sergeant Holman has been with the department for seven years and is currently on paid administrative leave. The District Attorney’s Office did not file charges against Master Sgt. Keith Duroy for his involvement in the shooting.” The statement also noted that the shooting occurred around 11:38 am, resulting in the death of Edwards. The incident was reportedly investigated and presented to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office for review.
Meanwhile, Edwards' family has claimed that he was suffering from “schizophrenia and bipolar disorder”.
President of the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police John George released a statement regarding the charges against Holman saying, “The OKC FOP stands by Sgt. Holman, who followed his training when an armed suspect charged another officer. A loss of life is always a tragedy, but officers must be able to protect one another when de-escalation tactics are ineffective.”
"We know these are trying times for Sgt. Holman and his family, and we’re here for them. The FOP thanks every officer who puts on a badge to protect and serve, despite this challenging environment,” he further added.