4:55 pm Oct. 12, 2011
Rep. Jerry Nadler did more than come to the defense of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators with his comments to the Washington Times today. The liberal Manhattan-Brooklyn congressman, whose district includes Wall Street and Zuccotti Park, also called into question the way police officers have responded to the four-week-long series of demonstrations.
From the Washington Times:
Rep. Nadler also went after the New York City Police Department's handling of the demonstrators saying, "And of course you also have the problem that the police improperly staged a little riot of their own, which we are going to have investigated."
Some police officers have been criticized for their response to the demonstrations. It's not specified in the Washington Times story, but Nadler's "riot" reference in the quote, according to a spokesman, is to several incidents: the alleged "kettling" of protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge, and one officer's use of pepper spray on a group of female protesters who were behind a barricade, and to the nightstick-swinging police response on Oct. 5 to a group of protesters who attempted to push through a barricade.
Nadler is perhaps the highest-profile member of New York's liberal establishment to defend the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he's sympathetic to the group, but would like them out of his neighborhood. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has avoided the group, even as he probes the mortgage meltdown that played a pivotal role in Wall Street's meltdown. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has said the group's message is unclear and that he'd like to see more organizing from them. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she sympathizes with some of the frustration but has no plans to visit them.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer joined one of their marches, but did not publicize his visit, and has otherwise kept a low profile on the topic.
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