City to probe Occupy Dallas confrontation at bank

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 7 at 10:15 AM

DALLAS — The City of Dallas is launching an investigation into Saturday's Occupy Dallas protest that ended with arrests.

In a brief written statement to News 8, city spokesman Frank Librio said Dallas police "will review whatever video is available next week as part of an overall review of the incident."

Several videos shot by protesters show confrontations between officers and activists as the group marched outside downtown banks Saturday in support of Bank Transfer Day.

One video shows a police officer trying to rip a flag from a protester. When the man resists, he and the officer fall to the ground.

Occupy Dallas members identified the protester as Stephen Benavides, 30.  He remains in Dallas County Jail facing assault on a public servant charges along with resisting arrest.

"They were supposedly assaulting officers," said Joshua Granado, a member of Occupy Dallas. "They were the ones being assaulted!"

It was one of several confrontations during the protest outside the downtown Bank of America tower. Eight people were arrested and three officers were slightly hurt.

Occupy Dallas claims officers instigated the fights by needlessly pushing protesters.

Police insist protesters were climbing on planters, ignoring orders, and becoming aggressive.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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