In response to criticisms following the arrest of Brooklyn subway shooter Frank James, Mayor Eric Adams further defended his new policies on policing and gun control on NY1. “I thought Black lives matter?,” he asked, alleging many of New York’s shooters and shooting victims are Black.
Adams spoke out against the criticisms of his newest NYPD policies to fight gun violence including an increased police presence on subways and a revised plainclothes unit to patrol the streets. Adams thanked the first responders who assisted in finding James and assured new safety measures will be taken to protect the subways such as gun detection.
He also called attention to the demographic of the crime victims.
More from Adams per NY1:
“I thought Black lives matter?” Adams said, in response to a question about a spate of shootings overnight. “Go do an analysis of who was killed or shot last night.”
“The victims were Black. Many of the shooters were Black,” Adams added, calling for the thousands of New Yorkers who took to the street during the police protests during the summer of 2020 to return to the street in protest of gun violence.
Critics on social media, Adams said, have misconstrued his blueprint to end gun violence as strictly about more policing and rollbacks of bail reform.
“It’s not just the police approach, but we’re not going to ignore the police approach,” Adams said, listing a series of his proposals including revamping the foster care system and boosting summer job programs. “Why are we living in this alternate reality that people don’t realize what’s playing out on our streets every day?”
Co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Greater New York Hawk Newsome told POLITICO Adams to failed to take accountability for not being able to prevent crime in the city through the increase of police. He also said BLM critics often use Black on Black crime as the main issue instead of police brutality.
“He wants us to have a fight in the newspapers to distract people from the real issues. The mayor is great at press conferences and he is really good at making statements, but he lacks efficiency and the ability to lead our city in a safer direction,” he said via POLITICO.
However, Newsome offered a solution: Black Opportunities, an organization for de-escalation training and neighborhood watch, could be a way to reduce shootings without having to rely on police.
There is a way to address violence and crime without making Black people the center of the problem.