This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 3, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, minutes away from hearing from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
With us now, former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik on what he wants to hear out of the mayor.
What do you say, sir?
BERNARD KERIK, FORMER INTERIM MINISTER OF INTERIOR IN IRAQ: Well, I think he has to talk to the community.
He has to, you know, explain what happened, maybe why the decision was made that was made by the grand jury. But, most importantly, that if we're going to have protests in Staten Island or around the city, that they be peaceful. People have a right to protest. They have a right to peacefully protest.
They do not have a right to commit arson, robbery, violent assaults, and burglaries, and all the other stuff that we have seen over the last several weeks. So, hopefully, that's the mayor's message and -- and, you know, his leadership carries the city through this event.
CAVUTO: You know, Bernie, you and I were chatting about this last week. But I -- I try very hard to give the Ferguson officials the benefit the doubt.
I think that they held back and maybe held their punches last week, for fear that they would look like they would be agitating crowds and making an already tense situation worse. We now know in retrospect that they more than held back and they allowed stores to be looted and burned down and what have you.
But play it this way, then. Knowing what happened in Ferguson last week, is there a risk that New York City police can overreact, or might -- might be because of that maybe get trigger-happy? And how do they avoid that?
KERIK: Well, honestly, Neil, I don't think that would be the case.
And here is why. Keep in mind that we deal with protests in New York City every single day.
CAVUTO: That's true.
KERIK: Every single day, there are units within the NYPD that deal with protests up around the United Nations, all over the city.
But hundreds, if not thousands of people all over the city every day protest. And the NYPD deals with that. And nobody ever knows. They're very, very good at their job. We also have more resources than probably the entire state of Missouri when it comes to law enforcement officers just in the NYPD alone.
So we have the resources. We have the experience. We have the training. And, hopefully, it doesn't come to that. Hopefully, the protests are peaceful. People have a right to express their opinion, voice their opinion. Let them do so. But if it gets violent and gets out of hand, those people have to be held accountable.
CAVUTO: All right, Bernie, I just want to clarify the video that a lot of folks are seeing at home, I believe, from last week, Pam, right, during the Ferguson protests, but in New York City.
Bernie, you know, I remember when I had the pleasure of chatting with you - - not the pleasure. It was somber times, to put it mildly, after 9/11. You put high priority, as did Mayor Giuliani at the time, not only keeping the peace, but showing New Yorkers trying to get back to their everyday lives.
A lot easier said than done. Now -- now, many have already questioned why local law enforcement have gone ahead with plans to have a Christmas tree lighting in Rockefeller Center. I don't see a problem with that. I think that that should go on and be continued. But I guess the fear would be that it would become a needlessly agitated night.
Do you agree with that? What are your thoughts?
KERIK: I think we have to carry on.
You know, the system -- this process has taken place. It is our Constitution. It's the laws we live by. Get over it. Understand that it happens. Our system is not perfect by no means. You and I have talked about that.
But the bottom line is, the grand jury made a decision. We have to live by that. We have to move on. We can't stop living otherwise. We can't stop the tree lighting. We can't stop the events that will happen from now throughout the Christmas season.
We shouldn't change our lives because some people are irritated or agitated by a process that is our law. They have the right to peacefully protest. Let them go protest, but they cannot and -- or should not hamper with other things that go on in the city. And if they do to the point that it get outs of control, they should be held accountable.
CAVUTO: Now, what do you do? This is earlier protests today, I believe, in Staten Island. I could be wrong, but they are earlier protests in light of the decision.
But what do you do? Last week, I remember, when I was coming on late after covering the protests in Ferguson for FOX Business Network, and then we were chatting, there was just spontaneous demonstrating in New York. And of course that was the night that police Commissioner Bratton was doused with red paint just to show that law authorities everywhere had blood on their hands.
I think that was the message of that lunacy. But now the people are going to gather tonight. And as a top law enforcement official yourself, where do you draw a line between responding to something like that and someone who might, you know, God forbid, try to set fire to a building or worse?
KERIK: Well, once they cross the line -- there's a line, Neil.
It's a peaceful protest. They're not obstructing vehicular traffic, pedestrian traffic.
CAVUTO: But you're throwing something at someone. You're throwing paint at someone or a bottle, anything like that, then it changes, right?
KERIK: Neil, that's -- then it changes.
CAVUTO: Got you.
KERIK: That's a violation of the law. That's a violation. Once they violate the law, then they have to be taken into custody. They have to be held accountable for their action.
And keep in mind, Eric Garner and Michael Brown would be alive today had they not resisted arrest. That is the bottom line. And I think people have to realize that.
CAVUTO: Tree lighting goes OK tonight, assuming it does, traffic notwithstanding, people don't get too agitated tonight, some demonstrations and the like, but nothing violent, do you think that would indicate either that New Yorkers who are used to this can move on from this, or is something more powerful going on?
KERIK: You know what, Neil? I think New Yorkers, I think the entire country is going get through this.
KERIK: But I would call on all those civil rights leaders...