New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams said during a speech in Manhattan Thursday that he was sticking to his tough-on-crime approach for the Big Apple while repeating an earlier warning to Black Lives Matter leader Hawk Newsome not to threaten New York with violence.
“We’re not going to surrender to those who are saying, ‘We’re going to burn down New York.’ Not my city,” Adams claimed during a Police Athletic League event at the Harvard Club, according to the New York Post.
Last month the BLM leader threatened “riots, fire, and bloodshed” if Adams, a former police captain, follows through on a campaign pledge to reinstate the NYPD’s anti-gun unit.
The warning came during a tense closed-door meeting between Adams and Newsome at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall, reports said, which eventually led to a shouting match.
“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. “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.”
In addition, Adams also had a warning for violent demonstrators such as those who destroyed property in Queens following the jury’s acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse.
“We’re not going to have a city where anarchists come from outside our city and go into a community such as Queens and destroy the community for their own selfish needs or desires,” Adams vowed to a mostly Republican crowd, where The Post said he received a warm welcome.
Attendees included former New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox, billionaire business mogul John Catsimatidis, former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, and actor and former talk host Tony Danza.
In his speech, Adams offered Bratton high praise for cutting New York City’s murder rate and for his “broken windows” policing policies that focused on quality-of-life issues such as eliminating graffiti to make the city safer.
“Bill Bratton, your legend has not been completely closed,” said Adams, who went on to say he will build on the policies of Bratton, who twice served as the NYPD’s top cop.
Adams then joked that it was a good thing he managed to win the crowded Democratic primary to become mayor because most other candidates ran on anti-police and anti-business platforms.
“I burn candles and say prayers and Hail Marys that those other characters were not elected to be mayor right now,” he quipped, according to The Post, adding: “People who were talking about disarming police, running out business people from our city.”
Adams appeared to reference Maya Wiley, the third-place finisher who could not say during a debate whether she would strip cops of their guns.
Shifting to the economy, Adams appealed to business leaders to bring workers back to their offices to help the city recover after shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Post said that, as of last month, fewer than 30 percent of 1 million Manhattan workers were reporting to offices on an average workweek.
“I need you as business owners to tell your employees it’s time to come back to work,” Adams said to the audience’s applause.
“When I drive down Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue and I go into my hotel spaces and my office spaces and they’re empty, I’m concerned,” he said. “You can’t run a city like New York remotely.”
Adams then took some swipes at outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, The Post noted.
“How do you have a city that demonizes high-income earners?” Adams asked, noting that the highest earners in the city pay the vast majority of income taxes go to fund city services. “I don’t join the chorus and say, ‘So what [if] you leave,’” Adams added.
De Blasio took heat during the pandemic amid an exodus during pandemic lockdowns by the city’s super-wealthy when his press secretary tweeted, “Kick rocks billionaires,” in response to a New York Times article detailing the shrinking tax base.
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