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Posted Oct 20, 2011, 3:25 pm
For the fifth night in a row, demonstrators at Occupy Tucson were ticketed for refusing to leave downtown's Armory Park. 37 were arrested and cited on Wednesday night, said a police spokesman.
While that number is higher than Tuesday's total of 11 who were cited for violating Tucson City Code 21-3(7)(3), "there was no significant change" in the number of protesters between Tuesday and Wednesday nights, said Sgt. Matt Ronstadt of the Tucson Police Department.
Because of a "communication issue, officers working the assignment on Tues[day] night thought that they were to only arrest demonstrators that came out to them to be arrested. Because of that, they did not walk through the park to contact the remainder of the group, who were hanging back and not coming forward to be cited and released," Ronstadt said.
On Monday night, 24 were cited for not leaving the park. 32 were cited Sunday, and 53 on Saturday night.
Police have not forced protesters to leave the park after being cited, and have videotaped all arrests, Ronstadt said. Those ticketed face a potential $1000 fine and six months in jail, but many of those arrested for trespassing at unrelated Tucson demonstrations in the past have seen their charges dismissed.
Occupy Tucson organizers did not request a permit to hold an event at Armory Park from the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department.
At the call to the audience at Tuesday's City Council meeting, some protesters asked the city to waive enforcing the ordinance against remaining in the park after it's 10:30 p.m. closure.