Hawk Newsome, the leader of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, said he told Mayor-elect Eric Adams during a Wednesday meeting that there will be “riots” and “bloodshed” if the former NYPD captain returns the city to policing methods used before outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio took office.
The warning came during a closed-door meeting between Adams and Newsome at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall, according to the New York Daily News, which went on to report that the meeting was extremely tense and disintegrated into a shouting match.
One point of contention was Adams’ suggestion prior to the election that he could reinstate the NYPD’s anti-crime unit, which Newsome accused of mimicking the Gestapo, the state police-intelligence apparatus of Nazi Germany.
“If he thinks that they’re going to go back to the old ways of policing, then we are going to take to the streets again,” Newsome warned in an interview with the paper. “There will be riots, there will be fire and there will be bloodshed because we believe in defending our people.”
“So there is no way that he is going to let some Gestapo come in here and harm our people,” Newsome said. “We pray for peace but … prepare for the worst.”
Chivona Newsome, another co-founder of the BLM group and Hawk’s sister, also told the paper, “We will shut down City Hall, and we will give him hell and make it a nightmare.”
The meeting was behind closed doors but it was also live-streamed on Instagram by one of the attendees. It took a turn for the worse when Newsome said he would hold Adams accountable for any NYPD misconduct.
“You’re on the ground: Stop the violence in my community. I’m holding you accountable,” Adams countered.
“Don’t hold me accountable,” Adams noted further. “Being the mayor, being the borough president, being the state senator — I put my body on the line for my community, so I’m not here for folks to come and say, ‘Eric, we’re gonna hold you accountable.’ No, it’s us. We need to do this together.”
That prompted a response from Chinova, who countered: “You’re the mayor of New York! There’s only so much we can do.”
“I disagree,” Adams said.
During his campaign, the former NYPD captain rejected the BLM-inspired “defund police” movement and brought a tougher law enforcement message to voters amid crime spikes in the city including higher murder rates and shootings year-over-year during 2020, when the city — like many major metropolises — was rocked by George Floyd-inspired rioting.
Chinova Newsome continued pressing Adams, telling him that she thinks public safety in the city will get better if he implements better job, food, and education programs. “That’s a government issue,” she said, according to the Daily News.
Adams rejected that contention, however.
“You need to be corrected. You need to be corrected based on what you’re saying. Don’t tell me, ‘I need to do this’ … say, ‘We need to do this,'” he insisted.
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