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Friday, October 28, 2011

Occupy Nashville

Night Court commissioner slams state for

 Occupy Nashville arrests 10-28-11

UPDATED 5:30 p.m.

Early today, Night Court Magistrate Tom Nelson sent an email to Davidson County’s General Sessions judges explaining why he refused the THP’s request to sign criminal trespassing warrants against Occupy Nashville protesters.
In the email, obtained by The Tennessean, Nelson said he ordered all of the protesters released from custody because the state had not given the protesters adequate notice that it was changing the rules regarding how and when they could assemble on Legislative Plaza.
Nelson said “until the new rules and regulations were promulgated there was no crime of Criminal Trespass pertaining to this group of persons for the past 3 weeks.’’
He noted “It is of particular consternation that the rules and curfew were enacted after a protest movement and occupation of Legislative Plaza had been tolerated for just over 3 weeks, with no notice that the group members were involved in criminal activity.’’
Nelson said the protesters should have been given a “reasonable opportunity’’ to apply for the requisite permit.
“Fourteen hours is woefully inadequate time within which to allow the group an opportunity to comply with the newly enacted rules, regulations, curfew and permit requirements,’’ Nelson said in the email.
State spokeswoman Lola Potter said that as of late Friday afternoon, no assembly permit for Occupy Nashville had been filed with the state.

UPDATED 11:30am

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed off on the plan to arrest the Occupy Nashville protesters, said Bill Gibbons, Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security at a 10:30 a.m. press conference with reporters.
He said the state stands by its action and insists it didn’t overreact.
“They were very aware that they were trespassing,’’ Gibbons said of the protesters.
The Occupy Nashville protesters who were arrested at 3:10 a.m. today at Legislative Plaza, for violating a state-imposed curfew, were held by the Tennessee Highway Patrol for several hours after a night court commissioner refused to sign warrants for their arrests.
Occupy Nashville protesters released

Occupy Nashville protesters released: Occupy Nashville protesters are released after being detained by the Tennessee Highway Patrol for several hours Friday.

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