Metro spoke to NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne about the legality of Occupy Wall Street and under what jurisdiction sleeping bags could be contraband.
“It’s not a police matter in and of itself because of the unique status of Zuccotti Park,” said Browne.
Zuccotti Park is a privately owned public space, meaning that the city requires the property to be open to the public at all times, but the owners can set rules and regulations.
On Thursday, Brookfield posted a list of new regulations for the park, including a ban on sleeping bags, tarps and lying down on benches, sitting areas and walkways.
“Brookfield will not allow those materials back in the park,” Browne said. “They can have their own rules and regulations for their own property.”
If these rules are defied, he said, Brookfield can notify the NYPD and have the protesters removed or arrested.
“The private property owner has to say these people are trespassing,” Browne said. “If Brookfield becomes a complainant, then people are subject to arrest.”
At tomorrow morning’s scheduled cleaning, a representative of Brookfield Office Properties will be present to assess the situation, Browne said.
If protesters form a human chain around the park and refuse to allow Brookfield personnel in to clean as planned, Brookfield can request they be removed by force.