NEW YORK, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the 1,800 people arrested during the Republican National Convention "might as well just plead guilty and go on."
"There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there was any intent by any law-enforcement official to hold people any longer than was absolutely necessary to process them," Bloomberg said.
"I suspect that most of them (pleaded guilty) because they know they don't have a case. They broke the law. ... They might as well just plead guilty and go on" without seeking their day in court. "We did as good a job as we could, given the vast bulk of people who came here to get arrested," he added.
Hundreds of people claim they were wrongly detained by police and held for 48 hours or more without being charged or allowed access to lawyers. Only 600 of the 1,800 arrested have pleaded guilty so far, the New York Post reported.
The mayor's remarks show "a disdain for the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty," according to New York Civil Liberties Executive Director Union Donna Lieberman.
"It's wrong to perpetuate the notion that our criminal-justice system doesn't have time to give everybody their day in court," she said.