An Occupy D.C. protester who claims he was unconstitutionally arrested for using profanity can proceed with his claims, a Washington federal judge ruled.
U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson yesterday denied the government’s bid to dismiss claims against three U.S. Park Police officers. Based on facts alleged in the complaint, the judge said no officer would have reasonably found probable cause to arrest the protester, Anthony Michael Patterson, for disorderly conduct.
Jackson highlighted the First Amendment's protection of profanity. She said there was no evidence in Patterson's complaint that his speech risked provoking violence—one of the standards spelled out in the D.C. Code for disorderly conduct arrests.