NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When you get right down to it, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was able to evict Zuccotti Park protestors because he faked them out.
Once he knew he had to evict the protesters Kelly reached into his NYPD playbook and pulled out his trick play. He had been running regular drills every single night in lower Manhattan, but on Monday night/Tuesday morning the practice drill suddenly became the real thing.
“Last night we had another drill and we used officers involved in the drill to actually carry out the plan,” Kelly told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
And Kelly was ready for the protesters to call for reinforcements, too. But by the time their e-mails started up around 1:15 a.m. there were only two words for it — too late.
“We had an outer ring, you might say, of police officers to keep people away from the park when the actions were ongoing,” Kelly said.
A “peace flag” flying over the encampment didn’t stop the protesters from forming human chains, but, again, Kelly was ready.
“Many people they locked their arms together so they had to be forcibly separated. Other people locked themselves together with these bicycle locks and two people locked themselves on to trees. The locks were cut by Emergency Services officers.
The police commissioner did admit he planned to go in late at night when the numbers were reduced.
“We think it was appropriate t do it when the smallest number of people were in the park,” Kelly said.
Several hundred police officers were involved and there were more than 200 arrests, but the big test will come in the next few days when “Occupy Wall Street” protesters decide what their next steps are.
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