DALLAS -- Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a one-on-one with WFAA's Ron Corning that the actions that led to the eviction of Occupy Dallas protesters were thorough.
Rawlings said the rules have been clear from the beginning and protesters were given fair warning about the closing of the camp overnight.
"We've got to make sure that public safety is our first and foremost," Rawlings said. "None of the protesters were hurt and none of the police were hurt. That to me is the most important thing. Today I am happy to say that no one was hurt."
He said demonstrators knew that they could be forced off the property at any time. When they were not off the grounds behind City Hall at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, they were in violation of a city ordinance. No one is allowed to sleep in public parks, so those at the campsite between midnight and 5 a.m. were breaking the law.
Demonstrators are allowed inside the park during daylight hours.
"We balance this notion of freedom of speech and public safety," Rawlings said. "As long as they are doing that in a safe way, in a public area, we honor that."
Rawlings went on to say that when those rights interfere with the safety of children, police or others, that is when authority has to step in.