Chalk Drawing Occupy Orlando Protester Free After 3 Weeks In Jail

Timothy Osmar, a 25-year-old Occupy Orlando demonstrator spent three weeks in the Orange County jail after being arrested for using pink chalk to write on the sidewalk outside City Hall. He was released on Wednesday when the city prosecutor dropped the charges.

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Timothy Osmar, a 25-year-old homeless Occupy Orlando demonstrator spent three weeks in the Orange County jail after being arrested for using pink chalk to write on the sidewalk outside City Hall. He was released on Wednesday when the city prosecutor dropped the charges.

But, he was back doing the same thing in front of City Hall on the day of his release.

"I am ready and willing, after a bit of a breather, to do it all again," Osmar said shortly after his release. "I would really look forward to challenging this in court, to striking the ordinance so people can express themselves with chalk on the sidewalk."

"This was a guy who wanted to be arrested, by all accounts, and has been," Mayor Buddy Dyer said. "This guy was given every opportunity not to go to jail, but he chose to go to jail."

Osmar was charged with violating a city ordinance prohibiting "writing or painting advertising matter on streets or sidewalks." Among other things, Osmar had written, "This is not graffiti. It's democracy."

He was arrested Dec. 15 as he began to write "the revolution will not be televised" in chalk after police warned him to stop. After being released on bond, he returned to City Hall on Dec. 22 and wrote again: "All I want for Christmas is a revolution."

Osmar was arrested again, and this time he was held without bond.

The charges were dropped just a day after attorney Dick Wilson, who took Osmar's case for free, entered a "not guilty" plea on his client's behalf.

Wilson said the arrests were a clear violation of Osmar's First Amendment rights.

Take heed all tiny hop-scotch players in Florida. Oh, and don't forget to keep an eye out for the man if you're running one of those "illegal" lemonade stands,too.

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About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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