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Occupy Denver had its day in Federal Court today with the Denver PD where many tidbits emerged, things not reported by the mainstream or alternative media and things discovered with court proceedings, discoveries and testimonies under oaths. Complete media reports in Denver's Westwordand  

From Westwood which headlined the story as Occupy Denver hearing: Police officer made fake Twitter account to harass occupation "idiots"

Yesterday's hearing for an injunction on behalf of Occupy Denver came with an unfair share of sarcasm and surprises, but one stood out far beyond the others: While one document from Officer James Henning suggested a plan to stay the current course until the occupation "wears itself out," another found a police officer admitting to the creation of a fake Twitter account for the sole purpose of harassing the occupiers, referred to as "idiots." [emphasis added]

David Lane representing Occupy said he liked the chances of gaining a TRO continued in the article:

After both sides gave closing arguments and Lane offered a rebuttal, Judge Robert Blackburn promised to provide a final decision in the hearing "as soon as practical," which he then translated to mean "as soon as tomorrow morning."

more tidbits below the weird curvy thing that presents itself often on this site

The most notable speaker was Denver Police Department division chief David Quinones, who spoke extensively about the DPD's enforcement policies and relationship history when it comes to Occupy Denver.

The core of the plaintiff's argument focused on the suggestion that the DPD is selectively enforcing municipal ordinances to specifically restrict the practices of the occupation, and the issue came up repeatedly during Quinones' cross-examination, particularly when he confirmed that a gathering the size of Occupy Denver is not allowed in city parks on a regular basis without a permit allowing it to do so. The arguments centered on the standards the city uses to decide which ordinances it chooses to enforce. [emphasis added]

When asked to detail the steps the DPD has taken in order to protect the movement's First Amendment freedom of expression, Quinones said the police have "accommodated several unlawful, unpermitted marches" by blocking off traffic to ensure the group's safe passage through downtown during Saturday rallies. He maintained the DPD must regularly enforce park rules because "the park is dark at night," Quninones said, adding that "a lot of crimes typically occur in parks."

Any property removed because of the city's anti-encumbrance ordinance is classified as "abandoned," Quinones said. He asserted that the personal property of the protesters' provided such extensive encumbrances that passersby were forced to walk into incoming traffic lanes to make their way past. That earned a retort from Lane, who asked why pedestrians did not simply step into the park instead of the street. [...]

Quinones later said for the court that the enforcement of municipal ordinances falls primarily to individual officers. He said that in a hypothetical situation similar to the one in which a literature table was removed from the occupation as an encumbrance: "I would advise the officers to leave them alone. It's not worth the fight."

"What you're saying then," asked David Lane, "is that it's up to each and every officer to decide what they're willing to enforce?"

Quinones' reply: "Absolutely."[...]The same statement applied to Quninones' assessment of Schultz's ticket for riding on the sidewalk, which he agreed officers would normally just treat with a warning.

"The apparent lack of command within Denver brass was something I found very surprising," Lane said after the hearing.[...]

The defense maintained that Lane and his team did not provide enough evidence to suggest that the city's actions would chill a person of ordinary firmness from participating in the movement and exercising his or her First Amendment rights, while Lane struck out bluntly against the city's aggressive tactics in controlling the occupation.

"The bureaucracy is always the enemy of free speech," Lane said. "Everything they can do to make your life difficult and miserable, they will do. I think it really just comes down to what kind of society you want to live in. Do you want to live in a society that encourages free speech and expression or not?"

update tomorrow

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty~Ben Franklin

    by RWN on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:14:22 PM PST

  •  I'm curious what was the name (0+ / 0-)

    of the fake twitter account?  There was one that I found particularly annoying.  They were on ALL the time throwing out smears and had a german shepard as the avi.  Don't see them in the timeline now under the occupy denver hashtag.  The way the cops have acted throughout is just ridiculous.  

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:34:00 PM PST

    •  reddit has more but no ID (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      Mr. Lane also introduced some mobile data terminal message traffic between DPD officers discussing the creation of a fake Twitter account designed to 'harass' participants in the protest. That message traffic between the officers ended with the statement 'I love seeing bad things happen to idiots'. So much for content neutral enforcement, eh?

      In short, I feel pretty good about our chances. Judge Blackburn seems to be fair and strict, and is clearly all about the law.

      They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty~Ben Franklin

      by RWN on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:41:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Was anything said about how the police (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlynne, CherryTheTart

    are dressed in riot gear for these non-violent protests and they're non-threatening for other gatherings?  The riot gear is threatening and menacing and that demonstrates to me that they're not being even-handed.

  •  Blackburn? (0+ / 0-)

    That doesn't bode well - at least not in my experience.

    I don't know him, but David Lane is reportedly a very good civil rights attorney.  I hope he brought his best game to the hearing.  A win for the PD at this point would not be a good thing on any level.

    "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama in Prague on April 5

    by jlynne on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:35:32 AM PST

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