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Giuliani: 'Police Control the Streets, Not Protesters'

By    |   Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:56 PM

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that in the old days before he became mayor, his city also used the same "cooling off period" theory of arrests to control crowds that was used in Baltimore, and that it doesn't work.

"We had two riots in New York as a result of that, in Washington Heights and Crown Heights," Giuliani said on Fox's "America's Newsroom" program. "Finally, the police had enough of it, and the chief at the time came in and they stopped it on the fourth day."

A report was written on how to handle a riot, which Giuliani says he used for the eight years he was in office and that his successor, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, followed for 12 years, and "we have not had a riot in New York; we have civil demonstrations."

Those demonstrations have a lot of people who "make noises, scream and yell about everything, and they have the absolute right to, but we don't have riots," he said. "The first person who throw a rock gets arrested. The first person that breaks a window gets arrested. The first person who burns anything gets arrested."

Giuliani said he also added a provision where protesters who block traffic are arrested, too.

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"If you wanted to protest, you had the sidewalks, not the street," he said. "You can not block the Brooklyn Bridge and block the streets. You can't do that [because] people will die if you do that in a city as crowded as this city.

When you have an "ambulance trying to get to the hospital, you want to get the man or woman there in three minutes, four minutes. If you have a bunch of protesters in the way, I'm sorry, that person will die."

He said that a big-city mayor, like Baltimore's Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, should have known from the beginning of his or her term that "police control the streets, not the protesters … [they] get to protest in appropriate places; sidewalks, not streets. The streets belong to all of us. The sidewalks, they can protest there."

Meanwhile, Giuliani said there is no explanation for the death of Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal injury after his arrest on April 12.

"The explanation can't be given because the investigation is going on," he said. "For four, five, six, seven, eight days, there is just endless speculation. The simple answer is, you and I don't know what happened. We don't know if the police injured him."

If Gray's injuries were done on purpose, "it is a crime," Giuliani said. But that still cannot justify "allowing space to destroy, cooling off, or breaking windows ... the people who lost their businesses and lost their jobs had nothing to did with whatever happened."

And if Gray was injured on purpose, he added, "that person should go to prison. If it was an accident, that person shouldn't go to prison."

He also responded to the Baltimore mayor's apology for using the word "thugs" to describe protesters.

"What should we call them, violent criminals?" said Giuliani. "How about that? Call them gangsters. Thug is a word that goes back, if I can remember correctly, to the 1920s and '30s; they used to call James Cagney that in the movies."

The fight over the use of the word is not the issue, said Giuliani — the issue is that the mayor apologized to kids.

"Fifteen-and 16-year-olds can commit murder," he said. "Whether you get killed by a 15-year-old or a 50-year-old, you're still dead."

For Rawlings-Blake to apologize over the word thug doesn't make sense, said Giuliani.

"Call them a bunch violent criminals who should be prosecuted as adults," he said. "They should be identified from those tapes, and there should be concerted effort to prosecute them, put them in prison to teach others not to do that ... they should be prosecuted as adults. They did adult damage."

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that in the old days before he became mayor, his city also used the same cooling off period theory of arrests to control crowds that was used in Baltimore, and that it doesn't work.
rudy giuliani, fox, baltimore, riots, police
Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:56 PM
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