Posted on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 at 8:32 pm
Sixty-two Occupy Portland protesters filled a courtroom on Monday in order to discuss the charges filed against them. All of the individuals who appeared in court were arrested as part of the Occupy Portland movement.
Portland criminal defense attorney, Pete Castleberry, is representing one of the protesters who was taken into custody while occupying Chapman Square. He believes that his client’s First Amendment rights to free speech were violated. Castleberry is interested in the reasoning behind the police officer’s efforts to arrest the protesters during the day in the park.
Pete Castleberry was quoted by news reporters saying, “I’m basically going to be asking the judge to force the district attorney to clarify for me what the authority was for that, because that would be how we mount our defense,” in regards to the park arrests.
An ordinance that was put in place by the city allowed the police officers to arrest the protesters, due to it stating that officials and officers are able to close a park owned by the city at any point during the day. Castleberry has numerous questions dealing with the ordinance, and claimed that ”there are some major constitutional problems with that ordinance and the way it was applied in this case.”