However, state troopers failed to get the arrest warrants for Occupy Nashville curfew violations that they sought from the same Night Court Magistrate who refused their requests Thursday night. According to Occupy Nashville, Magistrate Tom Nelson told THP:
I have reviewed the regulations of the state of Tennessee, and I can find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza.
The protesters are being released, and according to their Livestream they are planning to reoccupy the plaza this morning. Their Twitter stream also noted that the Magistrate's ruling may have far-reaching implications for other public spaces across Tennessee.
What interests me about these events is that state troopers have no grounds to de-camp Occupy Nashville overnight since the Magistrate continues to refuse to permit arrests. Any future detainment of protesters constitutes THP harassment. Also, it seems that Governor Haslam has blundered into a huge new set of problems over the legality of his curfews formulated specifically against the relatively small Occupy Nashville group. This is turning into a David versus Goliath story.
UPDATE: Bill Hobbs, who was present to observe the raid, relays observations to the Nashville Scene that indicate that the state troopers may be starting to cross some boundaries:
I was there and witnessed troopers treating people - protestors and press - rudely. I was attempting as a freelance photojournalist to photograph police cuffing protestors and was deliberately interfered with by officers carrying video cameras who quickly jumped in front of me multiple times. A few minutes later, one put his hand on me, shoved me back a foot or two, asked if I was "media," (I said yes), and then he told me if I crossed "that line" again, I'd be arrested. There was no visible line.
UPDATE: Video of the THP pleading their case for arrest earlier this morning before the Magistrate and then getting denied: