Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The judge righted a wrong by overzealous Metro Police. If the Public Square truly is the heart of Nashville, like Mayor Purcell claimed at its opening, then it is unique and ought to be a gathering place for all Nashvillians to organize and to protest any time to draw government's attention to their purpose. It's not like this group congregated out on a remote trail in Shelby Bottoms in order to foment civil unrest. The Public Square is small and easy to monitor. The most that the police would expect from a Catholic Priest and a bunch of community activists was non-violent disobedience, which was not even on the agenda, until the police put it there. They were sitting in chairs, for Pete's sake. This was a weeknight in the Central Police Precinct, and I doubt that the rest of Downtown was so unmanageable that whatever police force was at the Square was needed elsewhere. The cops bungled this one.