DC Mayor Praises His Police Force

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Washington, DC Mayor Anthony Williams defended his police force's tactics during this weekend's demonstrations against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, saying that the nation's capital is trying to avoid the type of mayhem and rioting that occurred in Seattle last year at the World Trade Organization meetings.

"What we have been trying to do from the very beginning, from all the way back in January, is to try to prevent a replication of what happened out in Seattle," said Williams Sunday on CBS' Face The Nation.

Williams said that the police did not over-react when they arrested over 600 protestors on Saturday, who were charged with demonstrating without permits, and used tear gas on some protestors on Sunday, who blocked traffic for hours.

"Whenever you're dealing with a situation like this you're going to be up on the boundary line in terms of constitutional rights, but our police have to do their job," said Williams.

Williams said that more than 10,000 demonstrators are expected on Sunday with more due to arrive on Monday for the final day of the IMF/World Bank meetings. He said that the main goal is to let the meetings take place, while also letting the protestors exercise their constitutional right to assembly.

"So far nothing very serious (has happened). I think it's a tribute to our uniformed personnel and the coordination and planning with all the federal agencies and officials," said Williams. "They've tried to be very proactive and at the same time flexible in their response to balance the need of these protesters to have their protests...at the same time respecting the rights of these officials, the IMF/World Bank, to conduct their meeting and to go on about their affairs."