Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel Speaks Carefully About Occupy Arrests

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Watch as the mayor frames the mass arrests as a city imperative.

    Mayor Emanuel did not direct police officers to arrest "Occupy Chicago" protesters Saturday night.

    "I wouldn't characterize it like that," Emanuel said Tuesday when asked about the 175 arrests from Grant Park. "I was in conversation and consultation with the police superintendent [Garry McCarthy.]"

    The mayor cautiously answered the question about the mass arrests, positioning the sweeps as an imperative.

    "As it relates to Grant Park, there is a very specific law as it relates to closing down the park," Emanuel said, noting the public park's closing time of 11 p.m.

    Emanuel said officers engaged in discussions with organizers of the mass protests all the way up until the 1 a.m. arrests.

    He said members of his staff have reached out to Occupy Chicago organizers to work together going forward on their Democratic right to demonstrate. Organizers told another publication that they were not discussing anything with the mayor's office until misdemeanor charges were dropped.