The Occupy Wall Street movement has been quietly racking up legal victories in court with the third case in a row being thrown out by a judge Wednesday due to an “insufficient” summons.
Occupy’s “freedom fairy,” Marni Halasa was ticketed by the NYPD for “impeding pedestrian traffic” during a protest at Zuccotti Park back in March.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous that I was impeding pedestrian traffic with silk chiffon wings and Rollerblades,” said Halasa, who was ready to plead not guilty and request her day in court for the alleged offense.
“I wanted the case to go further to really challenge the law.”
Halasa added that she felt like her First Amendment rights had been violated.
The excellent Nick Pinto over at the Village Voice has been following Occupy’s legal battles in court and summarized the other two OWS victories.
In a single month, Occupy secured three court wins, beginning with the case of Alexander Arbuckle.
Arbuckle was arrested while photographing a march on January 1 and was charged with disorderly conduct for standing in the middle of the street blocking traffic.
That was the police version of the story—told under oath.
As it turns out, Officer Elisheba Vera lied to the court. Arbuckle’s own photographs from the evening place him squarely on the sidewalk during the march, and all video from the NYPD’s Technical Research Assistance Unit also showed Arbuckle standing on the sidewalk.
Additionally, livestreamer Tim Pool’s video from the march also corroborated Arbuckle’s version of events.
Pool’s video of the event (beginning around minute 31:50 and ending with the arrests around minute 35:00).
Pinto reports that this arrest is particularly ironic given Arbuckle doesn’t identify with the Occupy movement and in fact was working on an assignment for class to document the officers assigned to police it.
Arbuckle remarked, “I felt the police had been treated unfairly on the media.”
In “another black eye for the police,” Pinto reported on the second trial in which the NYPD’s version of events unraveled.
Jessica Hall, an OWS protester arrested on Novemeber 17, was charged with the ol’ reliable “disorderly conduct” for obstructing traffic.