City to Challenge Judge's Decision to Toss Occupy Arrests

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Friday his administration plans to challenge a judge's decision to toss out charges against Occupy Chicago protesters.

And he said he expects to win.

“I don’t think this is the last word. We’re going to appeal the decision because we believe the ordinance is on firm ground as it relates to both public safety and First Amendment rights," he said.

Cook County Judge Thomas More Donnelly on Thursday threw out the charges against nearly 100 Occupy Chicago protesters who were arrested in Grant Park last year.

He said their arrests -- related to a violation of curfew -- were unconstitutional because the city has in the past adjusted the park's closing time.

Emanuel said Chicago isn't alone in its curfews.

"We’re not the only city. New York, L.A. -- every major city has a curfew associated with parks," he said.

"We believe, based on both [U.S.] Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1984 and decisions other cities have made, that this ordinance balances both public safety and public free speech," the mayor added.

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