This was Chicago late last year when police arrested 175 people for peacefully demonstrating.
Then, yesterday, a Cook County judge threw out the cases against 92 Occupy Chicago activists who were arrested for violating curfew. The judge said that the arrests violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, in part because the ‘curfew law’ had seldom been enforced prior to this incident. (Selective enforcement of a law is considered a big ‘no-no’ in legal circles.)
In the months leading up to this spring’s NATO conference in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration had pointed to the handling of the arrests by his police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, as an ideal way to keep order while respecting protesters’ rights. During the 2011 demonstrations, on two consecutive Saturdays in October, police issued a clear order for protesters to leave Grant Park, and then gave people ample time to disperse.
I guess that means President Obama’s old buddy Rahm Emanuel will have to look elsewhere for a model for the nation to control its fed-up populace…