Occupy Denver: Charge against plaintiff in David Lane lawsuit dropped days before court date

david lane3.jpg
David Lane.
Update: Two of the charges incurred by supporters of Occupy Denver in recent weeks were dropped over the weekend when the city attorney's office decided against officially filing in both cases. The most notable of the two instances is that of Natalie Wyatt, who has since enlisted as a plaintiff on the side of David Lane in his legal team's pursuit of an injunction against the Denver Police Department for restrictions against the group's First Amendment freedom of expression.

Wyatt was cited for disturbing the peace over the use of an air horn from the passenger seat of a car. As she was receiving her ticket, fellow protester Robert Schultz earned one of us own -- for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk to meet her.

occupy saturday protest.jpg
Photo by Kelsey Whipple
An Occupy Denver protest.
Both cases have since been dropped, according to Vince DiCroce, the director of the prosecution section of the city attorney's office. He sent both Occupy Denver supporters letters revealing that "the charges would not be filed and they don't need to appear in court," he says. "Upon review of the file, it seemed we would not be able to successfully prosecute either case in court. Those two were brought to my attention before they were filed with the court, but there are numerous cases filed that we're going forward on. "

Wyatt and Schultz's cases are the only two to have been dropped before being filed, and the timing, several days before Monday's hearing on the injunction, seems significant. DiCrose says there is no connection between the decision to drop Wyatt's charge and her role as a plaintiff in the case, but Occupy Denver's internal legal working team remains suspicious.

"The city attorney's official position was that they've never targeted anyone specifically in relation to Occupy Denver, but the same week, we get these dismissals for some of the charges," says protester Rob Piper, who is also a plaintiff in the case. "They're trying to mitigate their loss, and I would do the same if I were rapidly approaching a court date. I find that incredibly disingenuous."

Could the city use the dropped charge as an argument that Wyatt's role in the case be diminished? Piper argues that the specific charge is not a central issue here. "It was my guess that the city is trying to eliminate standing for the suit, but the petition for injunctive relief doesn't speak specifically to charges," Piper says. "It speaks more to the effect that pattern has had on freedom of expression. The city has offered no guarantee of non-prosecution in the future. Nothing stops them from, starting today, writing the same tickets again."

In the past few weeks, Occupy Denver has experienced a noticeable decrease in donations and participation that Piper believes is a direct result of a crackdown on attempts to support and donate to the group. Occupy Denver's Facebook page warns potential donors against stopping or slowing down in front of Civic Center Park, and the number of people who stop down the street to walk their donations to the occupation is considerably fewer than those who used to pull over and greet protesters between 14th and Colfax.

"I think that's directly correlated to the way the police are treating this," Piper says.

Continue for Westword's previous coverage of the group's injunction and open-records requests.



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59 comments
Jtcolfax
Jtcolfax

Things are getting interesting:  2 days before this court action happens, there will be a tea party counter demonstration against Occupy Denver.  The tea party is meeting at the State Capitol, Occupy Denver is just West of there on Broadway.  Let's see ONE tea partying get a ticket if they honk.  And there had better not be any tables!http://blogs.denverpost.com/th...

Janelle_smith
Janelle_smith

I assure you that if i decided to set up a tent in the middle of downtown it would not last long.  rules in society are set in place for a reason.  If there are no rules than it becomes anarchy. While I may not agree with this protest I do believe in the first amendment, go ahead and protest but follow the rules.  Otherwise it just becomes a fight between the protesters and cops and the message is lost.  Which is what is happening now.

Protest during the day and go home at night. oh wait... 99% of the protesters are homeless, jobless, and/or unemployable. Looking at the photo I just see a bunch of people sitting around eating free food and playing guitars(with an anarchy symbol on the tent, very mature) Asking for donations of things I work hard to earn.  really productive, if you want change use the voice you were given and get involved in the community, Ex: Vote, support small businesses, create a new form of media, etc...

Sananda
Sananda

The Occupy movement is a very important step in the people of this country taking back control and not letting corporate America dictate laws and elect people to office who will support the business' agendas. That being said, I have no issue with business' being successful, providing they do it in a manner that is not invasive to the governments that are supposed to run "by the people and for the people".As John Kay (of the rock group Steppenwolf) said in one of their songs back during Vietnam...which ironically still applies today "There's a monster on the loose, it's got our heads into a noose...and it just sits there watching.". The song is Monster and it VERY much applies to today as it did back in the 70's.I also have another reference people might be interested in. There is a movie out called "Getto Physics" and it to deals with how the world is waking up to it's current situation.

Gfl
Gfl

WHAT ABOUT MY RIGHT TO ENJOY MY CITY? My right to walk through the parks without feeling harassed and intimidated by protesters? I know the protesters don't think they are creating hostility in the city, but they are. It's not the police: it's the protesters.

Nancy Nixon
Nancy Nixon

In response to Elizabeth Vitale: PLEASE don't reproduce!In Thanks to David Lane, defender of the Constitution of the United States of America:DAVID LANE FOR GOVERNOR!

coloradojohn
coloradojohn

Occupy Denver needs a Wiki Leak inside the city and state government. Come on you guys just a simple USB drive with some emails. No biggie to do!

JJ
JJ

Even before the bonus army, tents were crucial in protest right here in Colorado. Occupy is hardly the first instance of protesters being attacked in their tents by this state. Perhaps Hickenlooper and Hancock should brush up on their history and refer to the Ludlow Massacre where 1200 miners and their families were attacked by the Colorado National Guard for striking against Rockefeller. Forced to set up a tent city due to evictions from their company owned houses.

a reasonably sized hamburger
a reasonably sized hamburger

I would think that if money is free speech in the form of commercials, advertisements, then anything else money buys is free speech.  A tent is free speech.  The Supreme Court wants one dollar = one vote, that is what you are going to get.

Mani
Mani

I really want to start an Occupy Rocky Mountain National Park. The Least time I pitched a Tent there it cost me 18 bucks a night. Who's with me????

kickdemout
kickdemout

“The “occupiers” are the post-digested remains of the natural journey through the intestinaltract of the metastasizing liberal ideology in education and pop culture”. - Derek Hunter

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

But, remember, at least some state agencies (like the Department of Revenue) don't consider email to be subject to a CORA request. The DOR said, wrt mmj, that they routinely destroyed all their email.http://blogs.westword.com/late...

Keith X
Keith X

I'd like to know why the Secret Federal Police aka DHS are not included in the list. Particularly since many of the "anti-terror" tactical training & weapons used have been paid for by DHS programs.

Bob Smith
Bob Smith

"The Governor's Office has no public records responsive to your request."

Obfuscatory bureaucratic bullshit.  Are there any "public servants" left anywhere who can simply tell the truth? Or have the lawyers castrated them all?

About what I expected from The Huckster.

Matt Rockwell
Matt Rockwell

All complaints against anyone in public office ought to be made public. When it is impossible to perform a check of your government's power and your government won't give you back the power to check it's service to it's citizens there is the potential for tyranny. Transparency is just as necessary to a functioning democracy as the vote. If our vote is based on truths with deception perpetrated by political leaders, our vote is a shame and democracy has disappeared. No crooks should be police, no crooks should be politicians, just like no school teachers. Corruption in government must be guarded against and transparency is the only possible solution. Take the power back. 

Nancy Lee Kaminski
Nancy Lee Kaminski

Wahoo, here we go to the next level. Thank the Goddess there are good guys with legal degrees. Support Occupy!

Webster
Webster

It's "Lawyer", not "Laywer."  Unless you meant the southern version.

elizabethvitale
elizabethvitale

all have to have legal suits brought against them. if they aren't true americans then get out of this country. they feed off of our hard labor, steal from us and lie against us... GET OUT OF THIS COUNTRY IF YOU AREN'T A TRUE AMERICAN... LEAVE

DebeKniss
DebeKniss

I see the tents more sumbolic as a sign would be. So if the Governor let them stay for how many wees before he cracked down with riot police shouldn't Hickenlooper also be blamed for allowing it so long? See he also broke the law in your words and in mine so anything regarding riot police after that fact was excessive force and undue harrassment on the Gov side. Now will he have to face the same charges as those arressted? He should he allowed it.

debekniss
debekniss

I highly recomend the movie Inside Job 2010 it is a doc story on what the banks and such have done with our Governments help a must see for all who want to learn more why Occupy is protesting please check it out.

Debekniss
Debekniss

Oh please I lived near that park and the only ones using it before the protest was dug dealers and drunks and this is your idea of a happy stroll through the park? Since Occupy has been protesting those elements have left. Hey you can buy your srufgs elsewehere no one is stopping you. And from reading many of your posts you just want to whine no one is stopping you from going there and enjoying it. That is all in your head.

ConcernedCitizen
ConcernedCitizen

You are safer now in that park than you were before Occupy Denver, when it was overrun with drug dealers.

Sananda
Sananda

It appears that you are not living in the same world as everyone else. I don't mean that in a mean spirited way, but looking around at what is going on in this country and around the world...taking a walk through a park is the least of your worries. Oh, by the way. There are many other parks in Denver if you REALLY feel threatened...or are you just looking for a reason to spout off?

debekniss
debekniss

At this point he could very well win and it would be wonderful to get Hickenlooper out of there. God Forbid there is a real problem after the weak leadership skills Hickenlooper has shown us.

debekniss
debekniss

.Rockefeller now there is a !% if ever there was one LOL

Allbert
Allbert

Oh you forgot to add that the Supreme Court also said this year that donations (BRIBES) from business's are considered FREE SPEECH. I didn't see the word business having a First Amendment Rights, I only saw the word PEOPLE. The people who own the companies have a First Amendment right, but not the entire business itself. 

Whatever
Whatever

Derek Hunter is a post-digested-remains-head.

Rob
Rob

The qualification regarding 'public' records seems to indicate that there's a bit of executive privelege being invoked here, IMO.  Wonder what 'private' records exist? 

Sananda
Sananda

If your declaration was implemented, the NATIVE Americans ( I.e. the Indians) would be very happy I believe since they would have their original lands back. With statements like yours...you have to remember that ONLY the native Americans are TRUE AMERICANS! I further know that the original countries of OUR origin don't really want us back.

Rob
Rob

I read somewhere that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.  I believe that to my core.  Our nation's Founders did, too-that's why they carved out a special protection for speech in our Bill of Rights.  If you enjoy reading a newspaper, believe that you have a right to discuss political issues in common spaces owned by the public, and feel that government has an obligation to allow citizens to peaceably assemble in order to petition their government for a redress of grievances, you might just have more in common with the occupation than you think.  Solidarity and FREEDOM!

hooray!
hooray!

please tell your grandparents that we want our country back. you can leave too. i'll miss you so much.

Bandmanager007
Bandmanager007

Define "true American" for me please?  Cause as I see it.  It's different to different people.  But one thing for sure, our Consitution gives people the RIGHT to protest peacefully and this is not happening...so who is breaking the law here?   

JohnSmith
JohnSmith

So, I guess you'll be on the first plane back to Italy. 

Arrivederci!

Jtcolfax
Jtcolfax

Thanks.  Look at the occupy colorado springs facebook.  The organizers of the counter demonstration are just going nuts with the usual "denver homeless are being paid 5 dollars to be there"  etc.  This counter protest COULD be such an interesting chance for dialogue, but the buildup to it is already revealing it's going to be a freak show.  I have never worn a bandanna to Occupy Denver in my dozens of visits.  But this time I think I will.

debekniss
debekniss

hear hear and isn't it nice those folks have moved elsewhere? I think it is great !!!

Gfl
Gfl

 Sorry but I do not agree with you. I am fully aware of 'what is going on' and I guess we just perceive things differently. Why should I not be allowed to enjoy my city as it was intended? No offense, but who are you to say that walking in parks is the least of my worries? Parks are for the people to enjoy, NOT TO INHABIT and take over. It's gang mentality. If they really want to change things, this is not the way to go about it.

Guest
Guest

I agree but the pwers that be are a little shady on this form of thought lol

Gfl
Gfl

 Nobody has the right to take over an entire city and call it a 'protest.' Get real.

Allbert
Allbert

The states and the city governments are violating the Constitution. Which is the SUPREME LAW of our land..... And supersedes all city and state law with relation to Constitutional protections. And that's listed in the 14th Amendment sec. 1.

debekniss
debekniss

Where have you heard about being paid to protest at Denver?

And I think if both parties did have a simple message which worked for both, this would be great I think. Occupy would show workablitiy and Tea Party could show some serious flexablity too. The Occupy is a peoples movement and the Tea Party is full of people. I will wish for the best because this will scare goverment even more lets see if the tea party gets pepper sprayed.

debekniss
debekniss

Well the protesters are people and they are enjoying it. And no I don't think you understand it all or you would not be whining about it. How many times did you go to those parks before the protests began? Didn't the drug dealers make you feel uncomfortable?

Debekniss
Debekniss

Entire city? Where are you getting your information because it's wrong.

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