Mayor Rahm Emanuel today backed off a plan to increase fines for resisting arrest during this spring's G-8 and NATO conferences after aldermen and protesters expressed concerns that it would curb free speech.
"We decided to pull that off the table," Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said during a City Council hearing this morning.
Emanuel had proposed doubling the maximum fine for resisting arrest to $1,000. McCarthy offered a substitute ordinance at a City Council hearing today that keeps the fine for resisting or obstructing a police officer at a range of $25 to $500.
Emanuel had already agreed to reduce fines or otherwise revise proposed changes to the city's rules on public demonstrations. Protest and civil liberties groups expressed concern that the changes -- which would cover all future public demonstrations -- were too draconian.
Emanuel is still seeking aldermanic approval for other proposed restrictions in advance of the international summits to be held in Chicago May 19-21.
The restrictions include preventing people from entering public parks and beaches before 6 a.m., two hours later than now allowed. And loud noise, amplified sound and music at parades, athletic events and public assemblies would be allowed only between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun