1:43 pm Dec. 8, 20112
Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks Representative Jerrold Nadler's call for a federal probe into the NYPD's conduct in clearing the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators from Zuccotti Park is "ridiculous."
Asked about it at a press conference in Brooklyn today, Bloomberg said Nadler, whose district includes Zuccotti Park, should focus his efforts elsewhere.
"If he would spend more time getting us homeland security money, maybe he'd make the streets safer," Bloomberg said. "If he could get us more federal moneys, maybe we could make our schools better and we wouldn't have some of the things that people are protesting against."
Bloomberg went on to reiterate his support for the First Amendment, but said it didn't include a right to sleep in parks.
UPDATE: A Nadler spokesman emailed me this response from the congressman:
"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. He should also 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. 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."