As the case against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn appears to be falling apart, so is something else really important: Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s support for perp walks.
When Strauss-Kahn was initially arrested back in May, many people in France decried the way he was paraded in front of the media. Bloomberg disagreed. “If you don’t want to do the perp walk, don’t do the crime,” he said at the time.
Though Bloomberg did qualify his remarks. “The real sad thing is if somebody is accused, does the perp-walk, and turns out not to be — have been guilty,” he said. “And then society really does — should look in the mirror and say, you know, ‘We’d better be more careful the next time.’”
But after a New York Times article described how the case against DSK might be falling apart, Bloomberg walked it back: “We have done perp walks for the benefit of newspapers and television for a long time,” he said Tuesday. “I’ve always thought that the perp walks were outrageous.”
“If somebody is innocent, and even if they’re guilty, they’re not guilty until they’re convicted and yet we vilify them for the benefit of theater, for the circus,” he said. “You know, they did it in Roman times, too. It’s nothing new.”