Occupy Denver Lawsuit: David Lane, Denver Attorney, Files Lawsuit In Defense Of Occupy Denver; Judge Dismisses Case

November 22, 2011

David Lane, a well-known Denver attorney and first amendment defender, thinks that City of Denver authorities have gone too far in their reaction against the Occupy Denver protesters.


On Tuesday, Lane plans to seek an injunction in U.S. District Court because he is concerned the city has overreacted and is possibly infringing on the First Amendment rights of the protesters, 9News reports.


The Denver Channel reports a federal judge dismissed the suit this morning. U.S. District Judge Robert E. Blackburn didn't believe protesters had enough evidence that Denver Police were silencing protesters through increased enforcement.


According to The Denver Post, seven Occupy Denver protesters and supporters filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing city officials of trying to suppress the protest by harassing them. The lawsuit filed Tuesday by attorney David Lane cites approximately 100 arrests and raids on Occupy Denver encampments and asks for an order to halt the city's alleged attempts to stop the protest.


The Associated Press reports that the lawsuit states that city officials devised a plan on Oct. 13 to silence protesters by selectively enforcing city ordinances that are usually considered minor infractions: honking, parking, sidewalk rights of way and park hours.

Lane, speaking to CBS Denver, calls the police response to Occupy Denver outrageous saying, "It is clear that if you honk your horn in Denver, you just don't get a ticket. The only humans on earth who have ever gotten a ticket for honking their horns are people who support Occupy Denver."

Denver Police confirmed that honking a car horn for anything other than an emergency is illegal, but they did not confirm that anyone had been ticketed for doing so at Civic Center Park, according to The Denver Post.


Westword, who has been covering Lane's participation extensively, reports that Lane has four issues he and his law firm are going after the city for: ticketing people who honk in support of Occupy Denver, ticketing people who stop to give donations to the protesters, the police's heavy handed reaction against people who put items down on the sidewalk, and possibly even the curfew in the park enforcement.


Lane says to Westword, "It's absurd that after 11 p.m., if anyone sets foot in the park they get arrested and everyone has to stay off the sidewalk at that point." Lane also feels that the tents are a "form of speech" and that the city's banning of them may also be in violation of free speech. 



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