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D.A. Drops Charges Against Teacher Arrested Outside Community Meeting

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Teacher Dennis Henderson was relieved to hear the news the charges against him, in a case that generated widespread community attention, have been withdrawn for now.

"I'm glad to see that we do have a district attorney's office that does understand and takes the time to investigate and really looks at the big picture that's going on," he said. "And I'm appreciative to see that we have people in office who look at the big picture instead of one side of an officer's story."

After an altercation over a city officer's driving speed after a community meeting in Homewood, and a dispute over an attempt to videotape the officer, Henderson was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing traffic.

He was jailed briefly.

Today, Allegheny County District Attorney Steve Zappala's office issued a statement which read:

"I have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the matter to this point. It's clear that the encounter with police resulted in part from two individuals exercising their constitutional rights.

"Having reviewed the significance of the allegations and without regard to potential prosecutorial merit, I have directed that the charges be withdrawn pending a complete review by the City of Pittsburgh Police Office of Municipal Investigations to determine any further action."

Henderson says he appreciates the community support and hopes there is a message broader than just what happened between him and the officer.

"They might look at the Dennis Henderson incident as something as Dennis Henderson is a victim, but there's victims out here every day. And hopefully the onion is starting to be peeled on that and we could really be looking at doing some substantial changes," Henderson said.

City police also issued a statement which reads:

"We (PBP) respect the decision of the District Attorney's Office not to proceed with any further action until the OMI Investigation is completed. We, too, are awaiting the final findings of the OMI Investigation."

Teacher Arrested In Homewood; Community Activists Accuse Police Of Overreacting (6/27/13)
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