Republican criticizes Nutter over City Hall protest

Karen Brown, the Republican candidate for mayor, taught math and science to 8th graders at St. Kasimir’s Academy for 10 years, but she could use a brush-up on her constitutional law.  In an interview prepared for broadcast Tuesday night, NBC 10’s Steve Highsmith asked her about the Occupy Philadelphia protest outside City Hall.  Brown criticized Mayor Nutter’s handling of the situation, while saying she supports the demonstrators’ Fifth Amendment right.  (That would be their protection against self-incrimination, not their freedom of speech.)

Here’s the full exchange:

Highsmith:  “Occupy Philadelphia, the tent at city hall and surrounding area.  What would you do about that? “

Brown: “I wouldn’t have done what he [Nutter] did.  I know that they have a right to be there and I encourage them to assert their Fifth Amendment right but I would have never given them the opportunity to stay there. Camping out it’s going to be a bad situation no matter how you look at it. The longer they stay, the bigger they get, the harder it’s going to be to remove them. He should have let them protest during the day and should have told them, you need to go home at night. They should have not used City Hall as their bed and breakfast. “

Highsmith:  “Would you forcibly move them then? “

Brown:  “I would have never let them stay there.  I would have made it very clear from the very first day,  that yes, I encourage you to come here and protest….”

Highsmith: “That means you would have arrested them that  night then if they had tried to stay?”

Brown: “I think I would have worked it out with them before. I don’t want to do forcible, I would never want to do forcible with them but I would have said ‘Look guys, I’ll be here, I’ll support you, you can stay  as long as you want but do not sleep here, you can’t sleep here. It just would be unhealthy for you, unsafe for you and the city can’t afford the manpower it’s costing for the police….”