VIDEO: De Blasio Defends Tactics of NYPD Officer at This Week's Protests
After more than a hundred arrests were made at the New York demonstrations spurred by the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police in Baltimore, a testy Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday insisted protesters should have listened to orders to get out of the street.
“When the police give you an instruction, you follow the instruction. It’s not debatable,” he said. “When the police say stay to the sidewalk, it means stay to the sidewalk. And that has to be respected. There’s no debate about the fact that the announcements were made multiple times.”
When widespread protests broke out in the city last year after a grand jury declined to indict a cop in the death of Staten Island man Eric Garner, protesters were largely allowed to block streets and bridges without being arrested. So many were surprised and angry Wednesday when cops instead whipped out the handcuffs after protesters refused to clear the street, the New York Daily News reports.