Politicker asked Mayor Michael Bloomberg about Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s call for a federal investigation into the NYPD raid on Occupy Wall Street at a press conference for the opening of a new probation office in Brownsville. ”Representative Nadler I know very well and, in most things, I agree with him. I think this case–that’s ridiculous,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
The Mayor went on to suggest Congressman Nadler’s time and energy would be better served pursuing other endeavors.
“If he would spend more time getting us homeland security money, maybe he’d make the streets safer. If he could get us more federal monies, maybe we could make our schools better and we wouldn’t have some of the things people are protesting against,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “I think there’s plenty of–this is not a federal issue and there’s plenty of investigations going on.”
Mayor Bloomberg also reiterated his view that his administration and the NYPD handled the raid on Zuccotti Park quite well.
“In terms of the Occupy Wall Street and removing people from Zuccotti Park, your right to protest is protected by the first amendment, and in fact, for the exception of about eight hours, I think it was, with the exception of that right through this minute it is protected and we will keep it protected. I’ve said that’s my first priority. Having said that, the right to set up a tent, the right to sleep in the–keep other people from coming into the park is not constitutionally protected,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “People they have to be able to go about their business, people that want to protest have to be able to do it. This is the way to do it and the police department acted, I think given the fact that you had lots of people, they did a pretty good job. They’re well trained and they know what theyre doing.”
Congressman Nadler quickly issued a response describing the Mayor’s remarks as “nonsense.”
“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,” Congressman Nadler said. “As the Mayor should well know, 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, and it is precisely the job of the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure that alleged violations of those rights are investigated, and that federal civil rights laws are vigorously enforced. It is the Mayor’s job, I might point out, to ensure that the police department, under his command, obeys the laws and respects the rights of all New Yorkers.”
Congressman Nadler also encouraged the mayor to “have a heart-to-heart chat with the many congressional Republicans who he has actively supported, to urge them to stop starving the programs critical to our cities and to desist from further destroying the economy for the middle class.”