Official defies governor’s orders to break up Occupy Nashville protests

Submitted by Freedomman on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 14:41

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (PNN) - October 31, 2011 - Just one week after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo saw his order to push an “Occupy” protest out of a public park at night rebuked by a local official, Tennessee’s governor is experiencing a similar problem.

Gov. Bill Haslam has twice given the order to crackdown on protesters at “Occupy Nashville,” only to see it denied by judicial commissioner Tom Nelson. In Tennessee, a judicial commissioner has the authority to determine whether crimes have been committed.

“The magistrate’s position is sort of a safety valve to prevent overzealous officers from putting people in jail for no reason,” said Nashville attorney Jim Todd.

Nelson ordered the release of 29 protesters arrested last Thursday because “the state had not given the protesters adequate notice that it was changing the rules.”