Police Must Return Belongings to Occupy NJ Protesters

The judge granted a temporary restraining order against the state so troopers can't take any more personal items from protesters.

A New Jersey judge says police must return items confiscated from Wall Street protesters at a memorial across the street from the Statehouse in Trenton.

Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson also has rejected some rules the state tried to impose on the protesters.

Jacobson on Monday granted a temporary restraining order against the state, saying troopers couldn't confiscate signs or personal property.

"The state cannot arbitrarily create restrictive policies just because it does not like how people are using a public space," said ACLU-NJ Legal Director Ed Barocas.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey sued on behalf of protesters who claim their freedom of speech was infringed on when troopers confiscated items they considered unattended.

But Jacobson says protesters can't attach signs to the walls, can't erect permanent structures or use power outlets at the memorial.

The ACLU says the state made up park rules after the protests started.

Another hearing is scheduled for Dec. 10.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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