New York, NY - NYC Mayor: Perp Walks Are Outrageous
New York, NY - Mayor Bloomberg did a flip-flop today in the direction of French critics who’ve denounced the NYPD’s “perp walk” of Dominique Strauss-Kahn by calling such public displays “outrageous” and a “circus.”
“We’ve done perp walks for the benefit of newspapers and television for a long time,” said the mayor.
“I’ve always thought the perp walks were outrageous. That’s only my view. Nobody’s asked me and I have no say in it. Whatever.
“It does if somebody is innocent—and even if they’re guilty they’re not guilty until they’re convicted—and yet we villify them for the benefit of theater, for the circus. You know they did it in Roman times, too. This is nothing new.”
The mayor remarks, made when he was asked about the Strauss-Kahn case at a Brooklyn press conference, were strikingly different than what he said a couple of months ago when French public officials questioned why Strauss-Kahn had to walk through a gauntlet of cameras with his hands cuffed leaving a police sation.
“You know, if you don’t want to do the perp walk, don’t do the crime,” Bloomberg said May 17.
“I don’t have a lot of sympathy for that. Our judicial system works when the public can see the alleged perpetrators.”
Perhaps it was a premonition, but the mayor also cautioned:
“The really sad thing is if somebody is accused, does the perp walk and turns out not to have been guilty. And then society really should look in the mirror and say, ‘You know, we’d better be more careful next time.’”
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