Mayor Bloomberg addressed the large Occupy Wall Street rallies at a press conference late Thursday. The mayor claimed that protesters had antagonized the police by throwing what they believed was vinegar and flicking lit cigarettes at them. NYPD officer Matthew Walters, 24, received 20 stitches on his left hand.
"If anyone's actions cross the line and threaten the health and safety of others," the mayor said, "including our first responders, we will respond accordingly."
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly reported that 177 people had been arrested and that seven officers were injured during the rallies. No mention of any protester injuries.
After thousands of protesters swarmed Wall Street, Zuccotti Park and flooded Union Square, the protests and the ensuing arrests had caused, in the mayor's words, "minimal disruptions to people."
"There were just not that many people out here," he added, warning that disruptions would not be taken lightly. "If you're here in the city and you want to protest, you can!...That does not mean you can take away somebody else's rights and we're not going to let that happen."
More incredible images from the day: