posted on Sep, 28 2012 @ 06:02 PM
'A Cook County judge dismissed charges against 92 Occupy protesters arrested in a Chicago park last October, ruling that the city’s overnight park
curfew violated the First Amendment and was being enforced selectively.
Associate Judge Thomas M. Donnelly noted that police had arrested hundreds in a crackdown on the protesters' encampment when the park closed at
11:00pm local time, but had not moved against the 500,000 people who came to see Barack Obama after he won the presidency in 2008.
"The city arrested no one at the Obama 2008 presidential election victory rally, even though the Obama rally was equally in violation of the
curfew," Judge Donnelly wrote.
The judge added that the selective enforcement of the curfew, combined with the Chicago Police Department's harassment of protesters in the days
leading up to the arrests, supported “a finding that the city intended to discriminate against defendants based on their views.”
Judge Donnelly threw out the arrests, and slammed the city for denying the protesters their First Amendment rights. Citing the park's long history of
political rallies dating back to Abraham Lincoln, Donnelly quoted early city leaders who resolved in 1835 that the land that became Grant Park
"should be reserved for all time to come for a public square, accessible at all times to the people."