NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled against Occupy Nashville protesters, saying Tennessee officials can't be held liable for the arrests of the demonstrators.
The protesters sued after Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons and former General Services Commissioner Steven Cates implemented a last-minute curfew for a plaza outside the state Capitol and then arrested those who refused to leave.
A U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of the protesters in June 2013, finding that their free speech rights were violated by the October 2011 arrests.
Attorneys for the state argued on appeal that it was the job of the two officials to protect state property and maintain order. They said the curfew and arrests were necessary to deal with problems stemming from the 24-hour-a-day occupation of the plaza.