I was one of the 19 people arrested when the police raided the Occupy Salt Lake City camp last November 12. Our trial was Monday. It was a bench trial and it lasted 6 hours. They only charged us with infractions so we were only entitled to a bench trial. They didn't want this going before a jury. We had 5 attorneys who took our cases pro bono. We all had agreed to be tried at the same time to simplify things. The arguments our attorneys made that our 1st amendment rights were violated didn't get much traction, but during cross examination of one of the police officers one of our attorneys hit pay dirt. The city issued us special camping permits. They issued a new one each day. The officer in question was the one who delivered the new permit each day and got one of the occupiers to sign it. He said that he always delivered them in the evening and they were good until 7:00 pm the next day. That same day,November 11,the police announced that they were going to close down the camp the next day for "public safety and health issues." The next day the police began their huge operation. But they forgot one minor detail. No one revoked the permit issued the night before and they began their sweep at 6pm. Oops. The judge ruled that since the permit was still valid the police order to vacate the park was illegal. The charges of park curfew violation were dismissed. On the second count,disturbing the peace,since the first charges were dismissed and there was no evidence that the occupiers did anything else to merit being charged with disturbing the peace,those charges are also dismissed. Actually one of us was found guilty on that charge. He yelled at the police while he was being arrested. Lady Justice prevails.
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