Judge dismisses cases against 8 Occupy Atlanta protesters - CBS46 News

Judge dismisses cases against 8 Occupy Atlanta protesters

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Judge's ruling Tuesday Dec. 18, 2012 Judge's ruling Tuesday Dec. 18, 2012
ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Atlanta Municipal Court's Chief judge dropped cases against 8 Occupy Atlanta protesters who were arrested last year in Woodruff Park.

An attorney representing some of the protesters told CBS Atlanta those cases were dropped because the arresting officers could not positively identify them.

On Tuesday the same judge granted Mayor Kasim Reed and Police Chief George Turner's motion to quash subpoenas requesting they appear in court to testify in the trials of 28 protesters who were arrested last year.

Several dozen protesters who were arrested during the Occupy Atlanta movement of 2011 were back in court Monday morning for the continuation of their trial. Many of the protesters were arrested for occupying Woodruff Park after it closed.

Among those arrested was State Sen. Vincent Fort of Atlanta, a Democrat who was at the forefront of several Occupy rallies, including the one that saw him get arrested last fall.

"I'm still resolved to standing up for what I believe is right, the issues are even more important now," said Fort before entering court Monday morning.

When asked if he would go to jail again to stand up for the right to protest, he said, "absolutely, in a heartbeat."

About 20 protesters entered guilty pleas in court Monday and agreed to enter a diversion program for first-time offenders.

The other 30-plus protesters plan to go to trial to fight the charges. Their trials were delayed Monday because the judge had to hear a motion. The city filed one to keep Mayor Kasim Reed, one of his staff members and Police Chief George Turner from having to testify.

"These are subpoenas of people who are major players, witnesses that have very important information to be given out that need to be cross examined," said Fort's attorney Musa Ghanayem.

Reed said he stands by the arrests the Occupy protestors violated the law.

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