A question regarding a law enforcement policy of “stop-and-frisk” during New York City’s second mayoral debate Tuesday led GOP candidate Curtis Sliwa to doubt Democratic nominee and former NYPD captain Eric Adams’ policies of getting tougher on crime after he says he met with “top gang members.”
When the ABC-7 moderator asked both candidates about the controversial policy, which was ruled unconstitutional during then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s term, Sliwa, who founded the street patrol group Guardian Angels, pressed Adams about his alleged meetings with gang members who have killed several people, the New York Post reported.
“It’s amazing that my opponent, Eric Adams, just this morning on ‘The Breakfast Club,’ said that he had met with gang leaders ‘with bodies.’ That means gang leaders who killed and gang leaders who kill awaiting trial. Did you stop, question, and frisk them? Do you report that to the police?” Sliwa demanded to know.
“Can you tell us who those gang leaders were, and where you met with them and which gangs? I think the public has a right to know from someone who declares himself to be the law-and-order candidate. Do you do that, Eric?” Sliwa continued.
The leader of the crime-fighting group was referencing an interview Adams did Tuesday morning with the popular NYC-based radio show when he said he spoke with gang members he wants to “collaborate” with.
“I met with some of the top gang members. Some of them had bodies. Some of them have cases for bodies,” Adams told “The Breakfast Club” hosts. “And I sat down with them to say, ‘Listen, we have to deal with ending this violence in our city.’ And I want to continue to collaborate with them, [and] crisis management teams and others who are doing amazing jobs to stem the violence in our city.”
Adams did not respond directly to Sliwa, but rather repeated talking points he used during their first debate, going on to accuse Sliwa of “faking crimes.” Adams also said he has tried to convince members of gangs to leave their lifestyles and put crime behind them.
“While I was protecting people in this city, this candidate on the other side was faking crimes,” Adams responded. “Here’s what I’m doing. Public safety is intervention and prevention. Intervention is right now. I’m speaking to those who have committed crimes to get them out of gangs.
“You could find and learn so much [from] those who commit crimes,” Adams, the favorite in the mayoral race, continued. “It’s time for us to find out what is causing the violence, as well as being intervention and addressing violence right now.
“I have a comprehensive plan that I discuss on addressing the violence and how we are going to target those gang members who are using guns,” he added.
In July, Adams blasted then-Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo over an executive order he issued to address gun violence without also addressing the rising criminal activities of gangs in the city.
My first question is, what took so long? And why has it taken us so long? We’re watching these babies die, year after year after year,” Adams said on CBS. “No one seems to care.”
Cuomo’s order declared gun violence a “disaster emergency.”
During his campaign, Adams has pushed a pro-police platform, pledging that he would reinstate a plainclothes unit disbanded under current Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio last summer. He also said he would carry a firearm himself if elected.
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