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$325,000 Paid by Sheriff’s Office to Settle Fatal Shooting Case Over Not Wearing Seat Belt

by Derek Gilna

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in Florida settled the case of a 19-year-old man who was fatally shot six seconds after being stopped for not wearing a seat belt. The victim, Henry Bennett III, was shot by Deputy Andrew Cano in January 2016 when he ran from his black Impala after he was stopped by Cano in Belle Glade, Florida.

His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, which settled for $325,000 in November of 2017 after a federal court mediation.

Cano claimed that he shot Bennett after the man pointed a gun at him. Nonsense, said family attorney Jasmine Rand, at a press conference held when she filed the lawsuit against Cano and the Sheriff’s Office. “This is not ‘The Matrix,’” she said, and “This is not a John Wayne movie.”

Rand dismissed Cano’s allegation that Bennett ever had a weapon. Although one was found under his body after the shooting, Rand noted that his DNA was not on the gun, and she accused the Sheriff’s Office of an elaborate cover-up. Several months later, it settled the lawsuit, which was one of several totaling over $7 million in payouts in the past two years.

Cano, who has been investigated more than a dozen times in the five years he has been with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, escaped any criminal exposure when the Palm Beach County State Attorney declined to pursue a prosecution. 


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