Mayor Bloomberg addressed (again) the NYPD’s treatment of press at the Zuccotti Park raid in November during his weekly radio appearance on the John Gambling show this morning. The city has come under heavy criticism for not even allowing credentialed press anywhere near the action that night, and Bloomberg has maintained since the beginning that the police’s rough treatment of reporters was appropriate.
“We didn’t keep anybody from reporting, you just had to stand to the side,” Bloomberg said today. “You don’t have a right as a press person to stand in the way just in the interest of getting the story.”
Bloomberg said that the way press were handled on November 15 was standard for police actions, and that “the police have to protect people.”
Allowing the media to have full access to the raid “also wouldn’t be fair to the protesters,” Bloomberg said.
As for the police’s conduct in general that night, Bloomberg said that “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.”
The media blackout on Nov. 15 prompted observers to question the NYPD press credentialing process and a number of major news organizations, with the NYCLU, sent a letter to Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly objecting to the way press were handled.