Occupy protestor wants city to give back his 'chalk' after dropping charges


ORLANDO, Fla.,None - Charges against an Occupy Orlando protestor jailed for writing on a city sidewalk with chalk were dropped on Wednesday during a hearing, WFTV learned.

Orlando police arrested Timothy Osmar on December 22, and he has spent weeks in jail for violating an ordinance.

However, Osmar is now a free man, and said he wants his chalk back.

It's an arrest that sparked serious questions about whether Orlando police went too far.

The city said the time Osmar spent in jail was equivalent to the time he would have served for violating the city ordinance. Therefore, the case was dismissed.

But Osmar told WFTV he wants the city to return his chalk.

Osmar received a warm greeting from his fellow Occupy Orlando protestors as he was released from the Orange County jail Wednesday afternoon.

Osmar was arrested for violating an Orlando ordinance that prohibits writing or painting any notice or advertisement on Orlando streets and sidewalks.

As it turns out, Osmar was the only one arrested for violating the ordinance in 2011, reports said.

"What I'm doing is within my rights and all of our rights as citizens to express our grievances against the government," said Osmar.

"I think the city decided the embarrassment wasn't worth it and I hope they realized they were going to lose the case anyway," said Osmar's attorney Richard Wilson.

But the city said he spent enough time in jail and justice was served.

"You're out of jail for the first time in weeks. Are you going back to City Hall with that chalk?" asked WFTV report Mel Holt.

"Yes," Osmar said.

Shortly after his release, Osmar and fellow Occupy Orlando protestors were at the courthouse with chalk, writing again.

Osmar's already been arrested three times for protesting in Orlando.  

In November, Osmar was arrested during Occupy Charlotte near his Fort Mill, South Carolina home for wearing a mask in public.

"My client is inclined to go to the U.S. district court and see if the can get the ordinance declared unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. Hopefully, we won't have to do that," said Wilson.

Osmar told WFTV he's not looking for any compensation for the time he spent in jail, but he does want the chalk the city confiscated from him.