DPD Officer Who Shoved Protester Now On Restrictive Duty, Investigation Ordered

By Matt Goodman, CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police Chief David Brown has placed an officer on restrictive duty after investigators found a YouTube video showing him shove an Occupy Dallas protester off a planter.

The officer was off duty and standing in front of the Bank of America building when about 150 protesters marched to it on Nov. 5. The YouTube video, uploaded Thursday, clearly shows the officer shoving a long-haired man holding a flag off a four-foot planter in front of the building.

The man tumbles from the planter and falls into the street. A video posted from a different angle shows separate on-duty officers grappling with the man over the flag in the street below. The man breaks away, and two officers fall down chasing him.

Dallas Police initially said the officer was working a security shift for Bank of America. They corrected that piece of information Saturday. He was not working for the building, and was off-duty.

While a Dallas police news release Friday did not mention the protester’s name, the Occupy Dallas camp says it is Stephen Benavides, 30, who was charged with assaulting a public servant during the Bank of America protest.

After his arrest, a small riot broke out in the crowd. Seven others were arrested that day on more minor charges, including improper use of a sidewalk. Because of the YouTube video, Brown has ordered that the city not go forward with the charges until an investigation is complete.

“In light of this development, the Police Department has requested that the Dallas County District Attorney and the Dallas City Attorney proceed no further with the criminal cases alleged to have occurred until further consultation takes place,” read the news release.

This is the first video to surface showing that the officer shoved Benavides. Brown said earlier this week that an initial investigation indicated no wrongdoing on the part of police.

For the past week, Occupy Dallas and the city have been at odds about who started the small riot downtown on Nov. 5.

The city has said that Benavides would not get down from the planter and became aggressive, eventually attempting to punch a police officer. The Occupy camp has maintained that Benavides was pushed, and that the security officer’s actions are what caused the incident to escalate.

“Officer Hollis walks up to me and says ‘get your a– off the planter,'” Benavides said. “I said, ‘Who are you talking to?’ And it was a split second decision on his part to shove me off the planter and I was flying into the street.”

The city has given the group until 5 p.m. Saturday to fix a number of violations at its campsite south of City Hall or face eviction. An attorney representing Occupy Dallas has applied for an injunction that would stop that decision. Jonathan Wincour, the group’s attorney, said the two have come to an agreement and the Occupy encampment will remain intact through the weekend.

The officer, who has not been identified by police, is on restricted duty while the department conducts an investigation. While on restricted duty, the officer is not allowed to work any off-duty security assignments.

Police ask if anyone has other footage from that day, or would like to contribute a statement, to call 214.671.3986.


One Comment

  1. darrell says:

    is it against the law to sit on the planter? was the protestor harming the planter? was the protestor sexually assaulting the planter? was the officer looking out for the safety of the protestor which was about to attack the protestor by swallowing and sufficating him in dirt? the answer is probably no to all of the above. so what do we have left?
    we have a white protestor conducting a peaceful protest when an offduty dallas police officer commits a racialy motivated assult upon his person. this is a hate crime plain and simple. the officer needs to be charged with such and fired from the DPD.

  2. John says:

    You alway one bad apple. Who knows maybe he was having a bad day or maybe he is always abusing his authority. Kind of frieghting.

  3. searcher5 says:

    The officer was hired for external security by the bank. If the planter is the property of the bank, then the officer had the right to clear the protester from it. Simple as that. Until that is divulged, everything else is just smoke.

  4. Rosco O says:

    Here is an example of how the Dallas Police turned a peaceful protest violent:

    A) Many “off duty” policemen are hired to “work” as “security” at locations being emphasized by the occupy movement.

    B) These pseudo “securitypolice” are then used to instigate violence and disrupt the protest.

    C) Then a wonderful story is run about the scary protestors assaulting police.

    D) Rinse and repeat…

  5. Mad Hatter says:

    If it took a video for an investigation to get started then yes this officer needs fired since a video would not reveal any more truth than what he himself was liable to tell.
    The protester was wrong in climbing on bank property, but if handled properly by security guards or the police he would not have been knocked off the plant into a street where one of those famous bus drivers could run him over. We are not Israel, we do not shoot kids for throwing rocks or endanger their lives for climbing on property. Brute force can only be used after a perp becomes combative, not before.

    1. darrell says:

      you have to remember that this is the city of dallas. the black police officer has the support of the police chief, the dallas police association, most of city hall, most of the county commissioners especially ole john wiley, and south dallas. he also has the support of the hate group the NAACP as well as the ACLU and the obama administration justice department. the media also supports him and the only reason this was even reported is because the video was uploaded on youtube.
      had this been a white officer and a black protestor half the public officials in dallas, the hate group the NAACP would be throwing a fit, the officer would have been fired, charged with a hate crime and aggravated assault. his family would have been terrorized during the search of his home where “evidence” linking him to various hate groups had to be. the justice department would be investigating and the national media would be parked on every corner. john wiley price would have led rioters into downtown dallas where the remaining mostly white protestors would have been confronted leading to a slaughter while the dallas police looked the other way. after it was over any surviving protestors would have been arrested and charged with inciting a riot. thats reality in dallas.

      1. Mad Hatter says:

        Correction that is only in parts of Dallas, not all of it and in only some people which I do not believe exists in Obama.
        I did not watch the video, but even if I had I do not see the world of people or draw conclusions based on race, color or gender. There is good and bad in all groups being race, color, gender, and even jobs (good cop/bad cop, good military service member/bad one, doctors, lawyers, store clerk, etc.). Some groups started for good justifiable reasons and years later end up being exactly what they where against in the first place.
        Fact is if this had been a good policeman and security guard he would have told the truth of what had happened and would face the consequences without having to have had a video expose the truth. For that reason alone he should be fired since if you lie about minor things, we sure don’t want you in a position where you can lie about a major thing such as taking a life in the line of duty.

  6. beaustreaux says:

    WOW! how do let your mind do that. get control hoss.

  7. Mike G says:

    Someone please tell me why this officer has not been charged with assault?
    Talk about double standards. The officer needs to be fired. Off duty or not he was wearing his uniform thus representing the DPD and should be disciplined/terminated and then brought up on criminal and civil charges.
    One bad apple can be stopped if you take that apple out of the barrel and smash it on the ground.
    Also if the planter is private property of the bank why is located on public property?

    1. darrell says:

      because the officer is black and the victim white and white people didnt take to the street and protest, march on city hall or act like they gave a hoot. also whites have no national organization to plead their causes like other races. blacks have the largest racist hate group in america, the NAACP and if it had been a white officer and a black protestor there would have been calls for fbi investigations, firings and riots in the streets in dallas. thats how reality is.

  8. Mad Hatter says:

    A hate group is also a group that will go as far as killing due to such hate darrell, how many has the NAACP killed in it’s time? If your old enough you do know how many the KKK has kill and that included whites helping blacks. I saw the blood of the protests back in MLK’s days and thus I know the NAACP has helped yet I do feel they have gone to the extreme the other way, thus no better than the KKK. Hopefully I will live long enough to where people could care less about others color or life choices and stick to what is VIP, getting rid of those that harm others either physically or financially.

    1. darrell says:

      the difference between the two groups is that the KKK was formed by a handful of educated white ex-conferderates in tennesse after the civil war as a terrorist group. the NAACP was formed by a group of white and black people to promote social reform. today the KKK is more of a symbolic group with little or no real power or influence and is rarely heard from. the NAACP on the other hand has moved away from social reform and now soley declares everything that isnt pro-black as racist and actively encourages civil disobediance to promote its agenda. whereas the KKK killed or went after blacks and whites who supported blacks and social change the NAACP now is less interested in social change and focused more on insureing that everything that does not conform to its agenda is racist. the NAACP is actually worse than the KKK ever was and no longer serves the best interests of blacks or the social changes needed in an attempt to end racism in america.

  9. Mad Hatter says:

    I would much rather hear a bunch of words from the NAACP, than the one death a KKK member or follower has committed in current times. There is nothing worse in life than the needless taking of another life, so I will have to disagree out of the past and present that the NAACP has been worse than the KKK ever was or is. I do agree the NAACP has gone over board, thus they have become racists just like the KKK are and that will not bring about change for the better. During the NAACP’s current time whites are finally getting to feel like what many of their counter parts have felt for years on end, yet not one of us can change the past, we can only change today and the future. I don’t know if the world will ever get to the point everyone views everyone as an equal and has truely equal chances in life, but it won’t advance into a good future until that sees the light of day.

Comments are closed.

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