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NYC Lawmakers Challenge NYPD at Zuccotti Park

NYC Lawmakers Challenge NYPD at Zuccotti Park

NYC Lawmakers Challenge NYPD at Zuccotti Park Timothy Krause, flickr

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Arrests over the weekend lead to broader criticism.

A group of New York City lawmakers are using the arrests of dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters over the weekend to call attention to what they say are bigger issues within the NYPD.

Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez says he went down to Zuccotti Park Monday afternoon to send a message to the NYPD about their tactics toward protesters, the Muslim community, and residents being stopped for random searches.

"Let's use the same level of energy to protect our constitutional rights as we use to fight against terrorism," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez says police used excessive force against a peaceful demonstration in Zuccotti Park this weekend.

Mayor Bloomberg says the arrests were appropriate.

"This is the best police department in the world. Everyone acknowledges that. And one of the reasons is because they do allow you to protest, but they don't let it get out of hand," Bloomberg said at a newsconference Monday morning.

Occupy organizers are planning a day of action Saturday to protest the NYPD's tactics.