Mayor Michael Bloomberg beat a hasty retreat from a statement he made after Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, when he concluded, “If you don’t want to do the perp walk, don’t do the crime.” Here was Bloomberg’s new position, reported by The New York Times on July 5: “We have done perp walks for the benefit of newspapers and television for a long time. I’ve always thought that the perp walks were outrageous, but that’s only my view. Nobody’s asked me, and I have no say in it.”
No matter how the case turns out, one image of Strauss-Kahn is likely to endure: that of the perp walk. In his home country, France, where the press is prohibited from publishing photos of defendants in handcuffs unless the person is convicted, the image — and its potential lingering effects — triggered outrage. A former French justice official, in news accounts, called the photos “incredibly brutal, violent and cruel.”
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