|Occupy Cincinnati Cases To Be Dropped|
That's the tip -- via e-mail -- which arrived just moments ago from a well-placed source who said City Hall and courthouse officials are getting the word today. The Daily Bellwether has been able to confirm that more than 200 tickets for violating a 10 p.m. park closure rule will be dropped under the deal. Also reportedly slated for dismissal are 23 tresspassing charges filed against the anti-Wall Street protestors who were arrested last October 21. The arrests occurred when Cincinnati police raided the Occupy Cincinnati camp at Piatt Park and closed it down. The camp had been in operation for about two weeks. All the arrests were peaceful.
A lawyer familiar with the "verbal agreement" that ends the prosecutions said Cincinnati appeared to lack legal authority to file charges for remaining in a park past 10 p.m. The rule apparently dates back to the mid-1960s when a serial killer called the Cincinnati Strangler terrified the city. There were fears the killer was stalking parks for victims at night. Posteal Laskey, the accused strangler, died in prison in 2007. A key part of the deal is that protestors who were charged must sign papers promising not to sue Cincinnati for violating their rights. Currently, the the city cases against the protestors are pending in Hamilton County Municipal Court, where they will be dropped when called up on dockets in the days and weeks ahead.
After the Piatt Park raid removed the Occupy Cincinnati protestors, City Solicitor John Curp said the downtown greenspace, the city's oldest. could not handle large groups. He said there was a lack of sanitation and restroom facilities. On the day of the raid, police and city workers filled two dumpsters with remains from the camp, including mattresses, tents and trash that was left behind. Protestors said the city exaggerated the state of disrepair