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Hightower and Ernest Borgnine push OWS protester off ledge


Once again, a Youtube video proved a police officer was lying through his teeth when he wrote a police report.

But this time, his department is taking quick action against him.

So for that, the Dallas Police Department should be commended. Let’s hope they follow through with their investigation.

The incident took place last weekend during an Occupy Dallas protest in front of a Bank of America.

Officer Jimmy Hollis claimed that activist Stephen Benavides had assaulted him, starting a mini-riot in which eight people were arrested, including some who were pepper sprayed.

This is how the original story read on NBC DFW.

After being directed to get down, one of of the protesters became aggressive and assaulted a police officer.

That person was arrested and will be charged with assault on a public servant and resisting arrest.

Occupy Dallas spokesperson Michael Prestonise told NBC 5 via email that an off-duty Dallas officer working security at the bank shoved a protester and that is what sparked the violence.

Benavides spent four nights in jail on a felony charge of assaulting a public servant and resisting arrest before he was posted a bond of more than $50,000 on Wednesday.

But on Thursday, a video was posted on Youtube proving that Hollis had shoved Benavides off a 4-foot planter, sending him sprawling to the pavement.

Benavides told the Dallas Morning News that Hollis had ordered him off the planter, but didn’t even give him time to comply.

It was not but a split second, a split second reaction by him and he shoves me off the planter,” Benavides said. “I fall down, I land on the curb, I bust my ribs up and eveyrhting else is kind of out there on the videos.”

Benavides added: “You can see him standing there in the video and we’re talking and then he pushes me. The conversation didn’t last any more than a couple of seconds. So he didn’t give me an opportunity to comply.”

Even though witnesses accused officers of using excessive force in the arrests, Chief David Brown stood by his officers, insisting that they had acted professionally.

But then he saw the video and changed his mind, authorizing the following comment on Facebook.

Last night, the Dallas Police Department discovered a new video of the Occupy Dallas demonstration that occurred on November 5, 2011. The video shows a Dallas Police Officer, who was working off-duty for Bank of America, push a demonstrator off a planter in front of the building.

Chief David Brown has ordered the officer placed on restricted duty and initiated a formal investigation into the officer’s actions. The restricted duty assignment will also prohibit the officer from working off-duty employment until the departmental 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. These meetings are anticipated to occur next week.

The Dallas Police Department is dedicated to the protection of all members of the public. Any allegation of police misconduct is taken seriously and will be vigorously investigated. The Police Department encourages any witnesses who would like to make a statement or who have additional video to contact the Internal Affairs Division at (214) 671-3986.


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