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Kelly Addresses NYPD Pepper Spray Incident At Wall Street Protests

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The Civilian Complaint Review Board is now investigating the actions of the deputy police inspector who pepper sprayed Wall Street protesters last Saturday.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly won't say whether the cop was justified, but he did describe the protesters' behavior leading up to the incident as "tumultuous conduct."

1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria Hears From Kelly


"We have not interfered with them even when they're marching on the sidewalk in significant numbers -- we've allowed them to do that. What we said, what we've told them is 'don't go out in the street and block traffic' and that's precisely what happened on Saturday," Kelly told reporters, including 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria.

Kelly says internal affairs will investigate the claim made by a 25-year-old woman and others.

Video from Saturday's Union Square incident shows an officer blasting a cluster of women with pepper spray. Two of the women crumple on the sidewalk in pain. One screams. The officer's white shirt indicates a rank of lieutenant or above.

The women have also filed a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

The protest march began at Zuccotti Park and proceeded uptown along Broadway toward Washington Square Park before moving farther to Union Square Park Saturday.

Authorities said they cannot force protesters to leave Zuccotti Park, where many protesters have been camping out. Although the plaza off Broadway and Liberty street is privately owned, it is required to stay open 24 hours a day.

Kelly also added that the protesters "were intent on blocking traffic -- we could see it on Twitter."

The commissioner said the protesters would make everybody's life a whole lot easier if they would apply for a permit. He said the NYPD has done everything to facilitate the demonstrators.


The same group of protesters is expected to march to police headquarters on Friday. So far, about 100 protesters have gotten arrested.

Do you think the pepper spraying was justified?  Share your thoughts in the comments section...

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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