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Judge Weighs Occupy Charges Against Denver Police

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Smoke from the extinguishing of a grill (credit: CBS)

Smoke from the extinguishing of a grill (credit: CBS)

DENVER (AP) – A federal judge is considering whether to order Denver police to stop enforcing laws in a way that Occupy Denver protesters say violates their free speech.

U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn says he could decide as early as Tuesday whether to issue a temporary restraining order against the city while the protesters’ First Amendment lawsuit is decided in court.

A lawyer for the protesters argued in a hearing Monday that police are harassing the demonstrators and ticketing them for minor offenses because the officers don’t like their anti-Wall Street message.

City lawyers responded that police haven’t changed the way they’re enforcing the law and have been careful to respect the First Amendment. The city says police have closed downtown streets for Occupy Denver marches even though marchers had no permit.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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