Eric Adams, New York City’s mayor-elect, has issued a challenge to fellow Democrats to clap back at a local Black Lives Matter leader after he threatened violence if the former NYPD captain returns to old-school policing amid a spike in crime and violence in The Big Apple.
In a meeting last week with Adams, BLM of Greater New York co-founder Hawk Newsome said there would be “bloodshed” and “riots” if he implemented his new tougher policing policies, and on Friday during a press conference, the mayor-elect asked why members of his own party have not pushed back on Newsome over his threats.
“I think that this is an excellent moment for the local and state and federal Democratic Party to state: We could have justice without violence,” said Adams.
“National, state, and city electeds should stand up and say, ‘We will never allow anyone to make those comments,’ that there will be blood in our streets because you know where that blood ends up? In the streets of our community,” Adams noted further.
While liberal on social issues, Adams did run on a centrist law-and-order platform after a year of rising violence in New York City he and other critics have blamed on lax law enforcement policies that have included ending cash bail and local prosecutors simply refusing to pursue certain offenses out of deference to left-wing criminal justice ‘reforms.’
Newsome, who met Adams along with his sister and BLM co-founder Chinova Newsome, sparred with the mayor-elect during a closed-door meeting at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall. One point of contention is Adams’ intent to reinstate an anti-crime unit supporters say was responsible for keeping violence on the streets to a minimum, but which was eliminated by outgoing far-left Mayor Bill de Blasio amid BLM-inspired ‘defund police’ calls last year following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“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 New York Daily News. “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 also told the paper, “We will shut down City Hall, and we will give him hell and make it a nightmare.”
The meeting, which was live-streamed by one of the participants, went south after Hawk Newsome said he and other members of BLM 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. 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,'” he added. “No, it’s us. We need to do this together.”
“You’re the mayor of New York! There’s only so much we can do,” Chinova countered.
“I disagree,” Adams said.
In his interview with the Daily News, Newsome said he made his “riot” threat because he was triggered by a question regarding plainclothes police officers.
“It made me think about the death of Eric Garner, it made me think about the death of Breonna Taylor, it made me think of the death of George Floyd,” he said. “And to think that Eric Adams is legitimately wanting to put our children in danger — it scares me.”
He went on to say that Adams is trying to distract from other issues by honing in on his threat of violence.
“So he wants to make this a political circus. What I want is to stick to the issue — what’s the plan?” he said.
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