This morning, Brantley spoke with Stephen Benavides, the protester who spent several days in jail on charges that he assaulted a police officer and resisted arrest. We also posted that video now making the rounds in which Benavides can clearly be seen being shoved off a planter by an off-duty Dallas Police officer working for Bank of America. Moments ago, on its Facebook page, the department addressed that video. Here is the statement in full:
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
Update at 11:54 a.m. Saturday: Dallas PD just sent a correction to the original press release. It says that "the news release distributed yesterday indicated the involved officer was working off duty for Bank of America. Although the officer was working in an off-duty capacity, he was not working for Bank of America. We apologize for the inaccuracy."
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