Occupy Denver: Exhibits let you judge First Amendment case for yourself (PICS)

Categories: Activism, News

hancock waving.jpg
This week's federal court hearing between Occupy Denver and the city ended in a denied injunction but much food for thought. Lead plaintiffs attorney David Lane called the decision a civil rights tragedy and said Judge Robert Blackburn "ignored most of the evidence we put in front of him." In order to help you make up your own mind (if you haven't already), Westword is sharing some of the evidence behind the case.

One of the first exhibits presented in court involved plaintiff Daniel Garcia's citation for honking in front of Civic Center Park on November 12. The handwritten story backs up Garcia's own and confirms that the officer who cited him was aware of the driver's intention to support the movement when he wrote him a ticket.

"When stopped (Garcia) was asked if he observed an emergency situation or needed to give an audible warning with his horn. (Garcia) stated he was 'showing support for Occupy Denver.'"

A summary of all citations for Garcia's honking offense.
In a later document provided by the city, the number of citations for the honking offense Garcia received (and later learned was dropped before the hearing) is laid out in a table (below). Since February 6 of this year, Garcia is the only person to receive a ticket for the action.

hickenlooper honk and wave.jpg
The plaintiff found this photo, originally from the Denver Post.
A great deal of the plaintiff's case revolved around the suggestion that the city of Denver was enforcing a handful of municipal ordinances differently for the occupation than it would for anyone in a similar situation -- even city politicians. Although Westword has already shown the plaintiff's evidence that Mayor Hancock promoted public honking during his campaign for office, Governor John Hickenlooper did the same.

To provide background on the relationship between police and protesters at the very beginning of the hearing, the plaintiffs called protester and freelance photographer Tanner Spendley to the stand as a witness. Spendley walked through several of the photos he has taken on-site, some of which are presented below, for use as both evidence and a narrative guide.

Exhibit 34.jpg
Courtesy of Tanner Spendley
Police clash with protesters on November 13. (The woman in the foreground was later arrested.)

Exhibit 35.jpg
Courtesy of Tanner Spendley
An officer points a weapon at Spendley's camera.

Exhibit 37.jpg
Courtesy of Tanner Spendley
Another officer strikes a protester with a baton in the back during a weekend altercation.

More exhibits below.

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Sniper II
Sniper II

I just have to say ,Its disgusting what these disrespectful deadbeats did to our city.I hope they all get locked up and at the least some mace in the face. Look at the pictures of what these ungrateful punks did. Id like to hear from each of these kids parents and see what kind of kids do this.Their parents should be arrested too.

Sniper II
Sniper II

I  got a ticket a long time ago for honking my horn..I was down town.. I didnt see it as an attack.You dont know some of the laws until you're dumb enough to break them. "Excessive use of horn" is what mine said..And I was using my horn excessively.Its in the laws about a horn is a safety device and not a "shout out device"


Anybody want to bet Blackburn is one of the names on the "heavily redacted" client list for Denver Players?


You sound just like the Fascist that you are.

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