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The idea that New York City Mayor Eric Adams might be a welcome reprieve from his radical left predecessor, Bill de Blasio, took another hit on Sunday when Adams defended his decision to name his brother, the assistant director for parking at Virginia Commonwealth University, as a deputy NYPD commissioner.
Justifying the decision to hire former NYPD police officer Bernard Adams during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Adams pointed to the threat of white supremacy he faces in his new role. In New York City.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked Adams does the appointment “at least violate the spirit of the law in New York, which says public servants, friends and family members should not benefit from their positions?”
After deferring to what he called the Conflict of Interest Board, a city ethics panel, saying they will make that determination, Adams said, “Let me be clear on this: My brother is qualified for the position. Number one, he will be in charge of my security, which is extremely important to me at a time when we see an increase in white supremacy and hate crimes.”
“I have to take my security in a very serious way,” he said. “But, at the same time, I need that right balance. I don’t want the people of this city to believe that their mayor is not approachable and he’s not willing to engage with them on the level that I want to represent you.”
Adams explained his “brother has a community affairs background, the balance that I need.”
“He understands law enforcement. He was a 20-year-old retired veteran from the police department,” he added. “And I need someone that I trust around me during these times for my security. And I trust my brother deeply.”
The remark could leave some questioning whether Adams distrusts the NYPD to protect him.
In a press conference on Sunday, he expanded further on his decision, while citing “anarchists” and “white supremacists,” according to the New York Post.
“Protection is personal. You have an increase of anarchists in this city, country. We have a serious problem with white supremacy. And when you talk about this type of security that I want, it’s extremely unique. I don’t want to be away from my public,” Adams said.
“I trust my brother. My brother understands me,” the mayor continued. “And if I have to put my life in someone’s hands, I want to put it in the hands of a person that I trust deeply because that is a very personal process of your security.”
Remember when Eric Adams was going to be a saner voice? That was 8 long days ago. https://t.co/HZtqNd42Wb
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) January 10, 2022
Tapper would note that Adams named former NYPD Chief Philip Banks as his deputy mayor, pointing out that Banks “was named an unindicted co- conspirator in a federal corruption probe and resigned in 2014 after being accused of accepting bribes in return for favors,” before asking the new mayor if he was “worried at all about the message you’re sending.”
“Not at all,” Adams replied. “I believe that Phil acknowledges there were some real mistakes and errors that were made. He was not accused of a crime.”
He insisted Banks was “the right person for this time,” adding, “I think that, when you look at what happened yesterday in this city, a young person was shot in a robbery in a store. It really personifies why I need the best person for the job. I can’t leave bad people doing bad things, the good people on the bench, when I have a talented person that just made some bad calc — bad decisions.”
Tapper asked Adams if the Democratic Party is focusing on the right issues at the national level, and he responses to say, “I think we can right-set the message and we can put the ship on its right course.”
“We have to be radically practical, radically practical,” Adams said. “We need to deal with those kitchen table issues that are important to everyday Americans and New Yorkers. I strongly feel that. We can’t allow social media to dictate what happens.”
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