The City of Phoenix filed a motion today to dismiss charges against protestors who were arrested as part of an Occupy Wall Street related protest. On the evening of October 15th, 2011 45 individuals were arrested at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix as they participated in a protest called Occupy Phoenix. Most of those arrested were accused of staying past park hours which has a closing time of 6 p.m.
Some of the original 45 arrested had pled guilty to lesser charges, but 20 had chosen to go to trial and entered not guilty pleas. The cases were recently consolidated to be tried together and had been assigned to a retired Superior Court judge. The defendants' attorneys requested the names of the 200 Phoenix Police officers who were present that night in order to interview them. That request seemingly prompted the prosecutors to request a dismissal of the charges today at the first pre-trial conference before the special judge.
Defendant Janet Higgins stated "Major victory in Phoenix today. On the night of October 15, 2011, 45 people were arrested in Phoenix for attempting to peacefully assemble. Backed by a powerful team of pro bono attorneys, 20 of us have firmly pled not guilty. Today, on our tenth court date, the City of Phoenix filed a Motion to Dismiss. All charges have been dropped for the 20 people who pled Not Guilty. Thanks to all my brothers and sisters who hung in there all these months. Our attorneys told us that rather than doing something for them, that we all go out into the world and do something good for someone else."
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