Occupy Dallas Protestor Pushed from Planter and Accused of Assaulting Cop Takes Plea Deal

benavides.jpg
Stephen Benavides
Stephen Benavides, the Occupy Dallas protester arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer during a scuffle at the November Bank of America protest, has signed a plea deal that reduces the felony to a misdemeanor resisting-arrest charge and keeps him out of jail.

Benavides pleaded no contest to the assault charge and guilty to the resisting offense in exchange for six months deferred community supervision and a $500 fine. Benavides tells Unfair Park prosecutors also dismissed a handful of other misdemeanor charges from different dates, including one for allegedly making terroristic threats and another for resisting arrest. The agreement, he claims, doesn't come without strings attached.

"They said if you get in trouble they were going to refile those misdemeanors, and the statute of limitations is two years. It sounds like they're giving me the incentive to not get in anymore trouble," Benavides says. "That's great, but they're pretending like the Dallas Police Department didn't do anything wrong.

"The guy shoved me from the ledge and I injured my neck and knee. It sounded like a threat. You need to lay low for two years. I didn't argue. I agreed to everything."

The "guy" he's referring to is officer Jay Hollis, the off-duty cop working private security at the BoA building who was caught on tape shoving Benavides from a five-foot planter and into the street. Hollis was subsequently placed on restricted duty. A department spokesman says he has since returned to duty.

The district attorney's office, for its part, would only say in an emailed statement: "The facts of the case warrant the offer made by the State. Fortunately for all parties involved, the defendant chose to accept the plea bargain of resisting arrest. He will be on probation for six months."

Benavides says he plans to file a civil suit against the private security firm that hired Hollis and possibly the Dallas Police.

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27 comments
dolfidal
dolfidal

i've seen stephen at several demonstrations before all of this occupy nonsense happened. he always causes trouble and incites violence. as an activiist, i would never allow him to attend a demonstration i organized. from what i see he's the main reason the occupy kids were forced to leave their camp. he assaulted a dallas police officer, made terroristic threats and assaulted a fellow activist and he got a misdemeanor? i think it's highly unlikely anyone in dallas could hit a police officer and not go to jail for it. based on the seriousness of the crime and the lack of punishment, i'd say it's likely mr. benavides informed on his fellow protesters for a reduced sentence. 

Stephen Benavides
Stephen Benavides

I wanted to step in a clarify a few things.  First off, I was born and raised in Dallas, TX, not PA, CA, LA, or any other.. "A".  The union had nothing to do with me being assaulted by Officer Hollis, except that they supported me with the injuries that I sustained, and provided me with legal advice.  There is no Union Organizers Agitator University, nor is there any type of conspiracy to draw police into confrontations with protesters.  They take care of that themselves, as countless videos show, from the beginning of time....and probably before.  

As for the deal that was offered, you would have to take a break from your fancy little Tea Party to be able to understand what was done and why.  First off,  Assault Public Servant/Resisting Arrest is the oldest defense in the book for police when they use excessive force.  It acts as a diversionary tactic to place blame on the victim, and its has a great track record at convicting those who were assaulted.  We call this a form of the "police state".  Say hello, its here to stay.

The video clearly shows that Hollis pushed me from the planter.  There was no discussion about it...even if there had been, it still does not give a person the authority to assault another.  Within in minutes after the attack you see Hollis wearing his DPD Jacket, and full uniform.  He was wearing it under a plain black jacket initially, but when things got hot, he went magically "on duty".  This means that while he was working private security for BOA, he was acting under the color of the law.  This little fact places liability not only on the private security company, but also on DPD.

Hence the deal.  In order to combat a civil suit they file criminal charges.  In order to get me to agree to the charges, they have to sweeten the deal.  And they did.  Not only did they reduce the crime to a Misd., but they dismissed and/or did not file 5 other charges that were outstanding.  None of those charges were related to the incident on 11-5-11.  I think this shows you who had the upper hand, and who was attempting to mitigate liability. As for a history of violence, that is a complete lie.  The other charges were "alleged", lets remember, and other than that, self defense is an acceptable form of violence in my book.  I think even the retards in the Tea Party, and their disappointed gay Republican fathers would agree on that.  DPD however, not only has a history of violence, but also of murder and corruption.  I would expect nothing less of them.  

Sincerely,

Carpet Bagger Union Agitator Esq.  

Larry
Larry

'Fortunately for all parties'???  does that mean that the most important aim was to save DPD embarrassment over another thug in blue?

Albert
Albert

Why doesn't he go back to PA, now that the ends have been achieved and capitalism has been defeated?

Union assholes.

Albert
Albert

Jeez dude...

"As for a history of violence, that is a complete lie ... The other charges were "alleged"..."

followed by:

"... self defense is an acceptable form of violence in my book.  I think even the retards in the Tea Party, and their disappointed gay Republican fathers would agree on that."

You're really winning them over here on the prairie, are you by chance an Eagles fan?

Teatard
Teatard

 The only civil suit you need to be filing is against whoever sold you that sport coat.

Albert
Albert

Great speech, but I have a couple of questions - you indentifiied as a United Steelworker activist in news reports, are you on the union payroll or are you in fact a steelworker, what is your line of work, exactly? Are you employed in Dallas at this time?

What did you hope to accomplish in Dallas, what do you believe you accomplished?

What the hell were you thinking getting in a fight in a bar when you had become a public figure, was that smart union diplomacy at work?

 

Mike
Mike

He wisely did not want to face a TX jury with his history. We could have easily shipped him to Huntsville for a two year stay without blinking an eye. Then he would really see the TX not shown in the tour books. He has some issues and needs to resolve them somewhere else. No Dallas jury is going to find DPD at fault dealing with a professional troublemaker.

Poppacraig
Poppacraig

You know that fact that Benivedes has a history of violent assault, and also punched out his fellow protester makes me very much doubt that this was a "thug cop" situation.

MattL1
MattL1

I don't think you got that quite right. 

Albert is the Ghey
Albert is the Ghey

Why do you care so much about this, Albert? Is your daddy a police officer?

A-nony-mouse
A-nony-mouse

 Have you seen the video of Officer Hollis shoving Mr. Benavides off of the planter for no reason? Go view it here: http://youtu.be/QIXh7X1M64I

Officer Hollis committed a crime. If he wasn't a cop he would be changed with reckless endangerment at the very least, likely assault and battery.

Paul
Paul

 From the intro of the link at http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

"Stephen Benavides, an organizer with the United Steelworkers, was one of eight ..."

Also from the same article:

"A professional organizer, he worries now that the charges will provide police with ample pretext to re-arrest him. "If you don't call that an attempt to chill political activity, I don't know what is," he says."

I think Albert was pretty close to spot on.  You may not agree with his opinion though.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Benavides and other protesters were told several times to get off the planter.  They refused.  Sure, the cop acted foolishly.  That is exactly what Benavides gets paid to do.  Union agitators...., agitate.

Wonder how Beni's getting along with the Occupy crowd now?  Oh yeah, he's not.  He assaulted one of the other Occupy leaders outside of a restaurant.  Because he wasn't getting his way.

Albert
Albert

Thanks for the tip, Eric, I'll go buy my tent now.

Albert
Albert

The union wants what the union wants, but most people don't give a rat's ass about the unions until some moron gets in their face.

Erich S.
Erich S.

One of my lofty goals is to abolish ideas like the ones you hold, Albert. You're a 99%-er who thinks he's a temporarily embarrassed millionaire. Stop fighting against your own self-interest!

billmarvel
billmarvel

Wait away, Albert. In the meantime, you need to know that the overwhelming number of union members and  -- yes -- even "union activists" do not want to abolish capitalism. They just want it to work.

Albert
Albert

Quite a dissertation there, Bill.

But I'm waiting to hear from Mr. Union Activist, seems he's taken a powder.

billmarvel
billmarvel

Albert,I did take the time to Google "occupy movement capitalism":From the very first entry: "OWS movement demands are not mutually incompatible with capitalism." Almost all entries under the topic, in fact, were partisan boiler plate.Likewise, I Googled "Bill Ayers and Occupy" and encountered the usual mindless right-wing cloud-making.I doubt very much that Occupy has as its goal the abolishing of capitalism, for the simple reason that Occupy does not seem to have any coherent goal except a general protest against the way things are going in America. (Do YOU like the way things are going, Albert?) At this point, Occupy is little more than a yelp of pain. One of its problems, in fact, is that it doesn't have much of an agenda at all.Its lack of an agenda leads directly to Occupy's other, and more fatal, problem: In the lack of any firm organization or direction, the movement is beginning to fragment and the more radical and potentially violent elements within the movement are beginning to assert themselves more aggressively. Witness what happened recently in Seattle. And so, as many predicted, Occupy is repeating the history of the protest movement that began in the mid-1960s. Though that movement was more sharply focused in the beginning than Occupy (it began as an anti-draft, anti-war protest), nevertheless it soon degenerated into a vague, all-purpose protest. The more violent elements seized the opportunity and became, for many Americans, the public face of the movement. In the midst of bombings and kidnappings, It quickly lost what credibility it might have had and dithered off in drugs and sex.Inasmuch as Occupy can't seem top get its act together and decide what it wants, inasmuch as it is unwilling or unable to control its more violent elements, inasmuch as it remains a movement of vague intentions, Occupy presents about as much danger to American capitalism as the animal rights movement or vegetarianism.The great danger to capitalism comes from capitalism itself and its internal tensions and conflicts. If it cannot resolve these, some day we'll see a real revolution in the streets -- angry, violent, and leading to consequences that none of us - left, right or center -- care to contemplate.The next time you want to understand a movement, dig a little deeper than  Google, Albert.         

Albert
Albert

Google it. I did just that for you, but the spam trap killed it.

Try "ayers capitalism" and "occupy movement capitalism".

Albert
Albert

As with Presidential pal Bill Ayers and the occupy movement, the end of capitalism is one of the many lofty goals.

MattL1
MattL1

I was more referring to the assumption that this gentleman desires some sort of an end to capitalism. Somehow I don't think that's quite right.

Also, cops are "union assholes" too.

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