Philadelphian Jeffrey Dennis, 36, was gunned down during a violent confrontation with police that quickly escalated into a deadly encounter.
Police and the city’s District Attorney’s Office are investigating Dennis’ shooting, which was captured on surveillance footage, said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, according to ABC-affiliate WPVI. Dennis, a father of three, was killed after police tried to serve a warrant during a drug probe, authorities said. Six undercover officers surrounded Dennis’ vehicle and ordered him to get out of the car. After a confrontation, one of the officers shot and killed the man.
The deadly encounter was the third fatal police shooting in three weeks in that area, according to WPVI.
Dennis, who had no prior convictions, worked as a maintenance worker for Tastykake and was preparing for marriage before the shooting cut his life short, said civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the man’s family.
“This is, unfortunately, becoming a more common pattern of an unarmed black male in a situation that could have easily been de-escalated,” Merritt said, also calling the killing “murder” on social media. “Drugs and guns were found at an address associated with him, but there’s been no testimony, no evidence, no statements whatsoever that a weapon or drugs were found on his person.”
The unidentified officer who took Dennis’ life was placed on administrative leave, a common practice in police-involved shootings.