Occupy protesters not being cited for now - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Occupy protesters not being cited for now; business owners fed up

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -- Protesters from the group Occupy Cincinnati continue to camp out around the clock in Piatt Park, fighting against what they say is corporate greed. Occupy Cincinnati is part of the larger, national grassroots movement happening in many US cities.

Hundreds of citations have been handed out by Cincinnati Police after hours, but Thursday night, that didn't happen.

"Last night the decision was made not to cite, and it was just based on our reassessing the situation," said Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig.

Diana Dawson says the protesters occupying the space in front of her business on Garfield Place are an eyesore for her customers.

"It is impacting a lot of the businesses around this area, we can't enjoy the park now because this it out there," said Dawson.

While Occupy protestors claim they're fighting for the middle class, Dawson says their presence is actually hurting small business owners like herself, trying to run a catering service.

"Many people are extremely upset when they come in to plan a wedding or come in to view the space, they're really are not happy that this is the scene they're going to encounter as they come into the building," said Dawson.

Meanwhile, protestors reveled in the fact that Cincinnati Police did not issue citations Thursday night.

"[We] got the phone call that we're not going to get any citations, there will be no arrests, nothing like that will happen last night, so it was a definite victory, it was really great," said protester Chelsea Tunnell.

Chief Craig points out that the department has already cited 140 protestors, and says he is well aware of the mounting concern in the community.

"There are individuals who don't feel comfortable in the park; we're concerned about sanitary issues. At this point it just was prudent for a lot of reasons to not cite and continue the evaluation," said Craig.

Chief Craig also says they're communicating with other police departments to see how they're proceeding with protesters.

Despite protestors issuing a release thanking Mayor Mallory Thursday night, his office says the Mayor did not order police to stop ticketing protestors.

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