Mayor Bloomberg Defends NYPD's Handling Of Press During Raid
Mayor Bloomberg is still defending the NYPD's raid on Occupy Wall Street in November.
In two separate incidents this week, the Mayor addressed criticism from journalists who say they were "roughed up" and blocked from covering the raid, forcibly enforcing a media blackout on police activities.
During his weekly radio appearance on Friday morning, Bloomberg insisted:
We didn't keep anybody from reporting, you just had to stand to the side. You don't have a right as a press person to stand in the way just in the interest of getting the story...(regarding the clearing in general) the police show amazing restraint. This is the greatest police department in the world. The number of times police fire their weapons here is so much less than any other police department.
Following the raid, the Society of Professional Journalists condemned the city's actions and went on to say that the Mayor's efforts insinuated what "would seem to be a strategic decision to cloak potentially volatile police activity from the public."
Earlier this week, congressman Jerrold Nadler called for an investigation into the NYPD's conduct during the highly criticized raid and cited the especially disconcerting accusations of blocking journalists from properly reporting the events that ensued.
On Thursday, Mayor Bloomberg took a rather bitter shot at Nadler and dismissed any need for an investigation. He told reporters at an appearance in Brooklyn, "If (Nadler) would spend more time getting us homeland security money, maybe he’d make the streets safer."
Nadler responded to the scathing remarks:
It is precisely my job, as the ranking member on the House Judiciary's Constitution Subcommittee, to ensure that the constitutional rights of all Americans are respected...Perhaps the mayor should review his own past comments lauding my success in securing needed federal funds for our city — from the $20 billion post-9/11 monies to the Zadroga Act to critical transportation funding — before spewing nonsense and so wildly contradicting himself.