Police and protesters may disagree on why more than 700 "Occupy Wall Street" members were arrested on Saturday, but city officials are defending the NYPD's actions. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the Wall Street protests "misguided" on Friday, and on Sunday, in the wake of hundreds of arrests the previous night, the mayor said the New York City Police Department is handling the demonstrators the right way.
"The police did exactly what they were supposed to do," said the mayor. "It's very easy to get a permit to protest, to parade in New York City, as long as it doesn't interfere with other peoples' rights."
Organizers at Zuccotti Park did not want to respond to the mayor's remarks.
Protesters claimed NYPD officers led them onto the roadway on the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday night, then detained and arrested more than 700 demonstrators.
Police said the protesters were warned beforehand.
It was the latest confrontation between the anti-corporate group and police. A week ago, police pepper sprayed some protesters during a march in Manhattan.
If the demonstrators were expecting much support from local elected officials, they had not received much of it. On Sunday, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a leading mayoral candidate, agreed with Bloomberg's assessment of the latest event.
"We all have the right to protest. The police, when it spills over into civil disobedience, have the right to arrest individuals who are engaging in civil disobedience, as has happened to me a few times," said Quinn.
Still, New York Roman Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan said the movement could spur a larger dialogue.
"Lord knows, there is a lot of worry and concern and tension in society today," Dolan said. "So if the purpose of it is just in a very civil and upright way to give expression to that, and cause some dialogue and reflection in thinking, not bad."
Despite the arrests on Saturday, members of "Occupy Wall Street" are showing no sign of leaving Zuccotti Park and they say they are there to stay.