Charges Dropped Against Occupier Who Camped on City Property

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Geoff Burns sent an email to Citydesk on Wednesday. The message was simple: He didn't have to go back to court. And he was disappointed, because he and his attorney were pretty certain they could have won his battle against the City of Boise.

Burns is the 63-year-old Boise man who went camping on Oct. 15, 2011, as an act of solidarity with Occupy movements across the world. The only problem was that he decided to pitch his tent on city property and was promptly arrested.

Burns' attorney Brian Walker had filed a motion to dismiss the charges, but city prosecutors hadn't filed any response at Burns' preliminary hearing on Feb. 17. On March 8, the city finally filed a motion, but this time, it was to dismiss the charges.

"The State does not desire to prosecute the matter any further," said the motion.

Walker said he was disappointed that he and his client didn't have the chance to beat the charges.

"[The court order] denies him the opportunity to examine and bring to light the extent to which political considerations were at play when the City chose to arrest," said Walker. "Burns had sought a dismissal on constitutional grounds. But absent a clear holding that the City had acted unconstitutionally, Burns wanted his day in court. That option is no longer available to him."

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