Increasing crime in New York has taken over the mayor’s race. Eric Adams says that he alone can fix it.


As the Kovid-19 numbers were falling, Democrats in Washington gave financial support to deal with the potential budget crisis and, with a generally brighter outlook, candidates’ plans – many of them drawn up in painstaking details – as competition Simultaneous Foggy, often played in a long series of endless zoom forums, took a backseat to other provincial political dramas.

Adams can be a confused person. For decades, he has been a prominent voice against racism in the NYPD, including its ranks during his time. But the man who could become New York’s second black mayor is just as likely to criticize the department as rolling its eyes and defending calls for funding cuts – along with warnings – of some of its most controversial practices.

“People want to categorize me, but because I’m complicated, it’s hard to put me in a box,” Adams told CNN this week. “I support the closure of Rikers (Island Jail), but also support the closure of the pipeline feeding the Rikers.”

Fear of ‘bad old days’

The past year has seen an increase in violent crime such as New York, it is difficult to explain. Educationists and public safety experts who hold different theories on why crime took place in the 1990s are equally on the reasons for its resurgence.

Historian and author Kim Phillips-Fein, whose 2017 book “Fear City: New York Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics” strictly documented the hollowness of the city’s public sphere during the 1970s, said The scars were unbreakable, even where the comparison fails, from the current debate.

“Memories of the fiscal crisis and that entire period have been hovering over the city over the last one year. And of course with the rise in crime, this is a quick parallel in the 70s and 80s and 90s, when there was a really high level Violent crime and murder, in particular, “Phillips-Fein told CNN. “So as the crime starts to increase, there’s the feeling that, ‘Oh, it’s all going to come back.'”

Adams has not been the only mayoral contender to bow to those concerns.

Andrew Yang, the businessman and 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate, has repeatedly condemned the call to “discredit the police” – even as the movement has stalled and none of his rivals, There is no left for Diane Morales, a former nonprofit executive and leftist candidate. In the field, it is embraced. Others, such as Maya Wiley, a civil rights lawyer and former attorney for outgoing mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and a former sanitation commissioner, Catherine Garcia, have placed greater emphasis on addressing root causes with strengthening social services.

Phillips-Fein said, “I am concerned to see crime emerging in the mayor’s race. I think we should avoid politics that focuses on not going back to the ‘bad old days’.” “It is important to try to understand why there is now this increase in violent crime and to address it in ways that do not increase the problems that drive crime in the first place.”

Adams says his public safety platform is more well-rounded than he is credited with. And the endorsement of civil rights champions, such as Norman Seagal, the former executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, underscores his reasoning. But he is more willing than others in the field to place the blame on the feet of agencies outside of law enforcement, which he says are in dire need of reform as police.

Adams said, ‘This is not a Huggy-Feely Good Stuff, no, this is a straightforward argument – 55% of people in prison have a learning disability, 80% do not have a high school diploma or equivalent diploma.’ Crime is not just what (incarcerated people) have committed, it is what we are doing every day in our school system. “

‘I’m going in deep water’

But many progressive and even some liberal Democrats doubt Adams’ priorities.

After nearly four decades in or around some of the city’s most volatile political quarrels, the 60-year-old has gained a reputation as an agile, aggressive exerciser with vague ideological repercussions – and a clearly held outrage with parts of the activist , Which he either considers na├»ve or spear or sets it apart from the ground reality.

“You’re standing in the shallow part of the pool, I’m going into deep water,” Adams said. “I don’t want a system that reacts to people after a crisis. And so I communicate with them and they sit and talk. Some people are marginalized so far, they don’t want to talk to you. But other people know Are, “Listen Eric, we’ve known you for 35 years. We know you’ve been the leading voice of police reform.”

New York is no stranger to confrontational mayors, and Adams’ promises to reform the NYPD, to try and implement a new brand of policing in the city, are also familiar.

De Blasio’s first campaign, in 2013, was largely focused on his own reform plans. After two terms, the NYPD and its largest officers’ union, the Police Philanthropic Association, are adamant. Until the explosion in demonstrations across the city last summer after the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota, de Blasio had left everyone, often defending the department even in the face of clearly documented police misconduct of protesters.

Adams insists that he will succeed where others have failed for one simple reason: he was a cop, he knows cops, and – unlike the rest of the Democratic primary constituency – has a keen sense that cops How civilians weaken leaders.

“The police department will run ring around (other candidates). They are the master. If you are a good mayor, you are only for eight years. I have been here in the department for 30-something years. The police department will be waiting for you,” Adams said. “And they know that everything you hand out has to be implemented. But if you know the system, if you know the cracks, then you know how to go and make sure you’re getting that. Whatever you want. ”

‘He turns out to be complicated’

The path to Adams’ political prominence began in the late 1970s and 1980s, when New York City, after escaping bankruptcy in the mid-1970s under pressure from its creditors to impose a frugal budget, turned almost into chaos amid growing violence Gaya, a drug epidemic and rampant corruption. Adams says he decided to join the police force with a mission to replace it from within – a decision that came years after he was badly beaten at the age of 15 by officers in a house on the Queens campus.

His willingness to issue sharp condemnations from the department and fellow officers after his joining made him a divisive figure between his peers and the leadership. It also helped him create a fixture on local news, often in his capacity as co-founder of 100 Blax in law enforcement Who Care, a group that spoke out against police misconduct and did outreach work in minority communities.

After a failed run for Congress in 1994 and some now rigorous scrutiny as a registered Republican, he was elected to the state Senate in 2006 as a Democrat. Later, in 2013, Adams won the first of his two terms as president of the Brooklyn Borough. .

Adams’s entry into politics and subsequent ascent coincided with a steep decline in crime in New York City and across the country, and more recently with the emergence of a strong new progressive social justice movement.

The result has been that there has been a dirty political collision, drawn along generational and ideological lines. Adams, though impatient with some elements of the left, has tried to reassure voters that he can – at once – be trusted to eradicate both police and criminal violence.

“Adams was front and center critiquing (former NYPD commissioner) Ray Kelly during the ‘Stop and Frisk’ controversy,” said Mason Williams, a political scientist at Williams College and author of an upcoming book on New York City from the 1970s. “And yet, on the other hand, he still considers the NYPD essential to the city’s health. And he is willing to put more resources into it, which sets him apart from radical reformers who rethink what they see. Want to do – policing. So that turns out to be complex – he’s embodying these two legacies of the Giuliani and Bloomberg years that usually pitted people against each other in politics. “

That conflict survives the way Adams discusses how he is perceived by activists of the younger generation, and, more explicitly, political opponents who question his progressive credentials.

His anger boiled over during the first official primary debate on May 13, when Willie brought up his previous support for “Stop and Frisk”. Adams has defended the policy as a useful tool, but has described its deployment by the department as abusive – including testimony at the 2013 trial that ended NYPD’s unconstitutional practice with a federal judge Was.

“Every time you raise that question it really reflects your failure to understand law enforcement,” Adams told Wiley. When Willie intervened to note that he had served as chairman of the Citizens’ Grievance Review Board, the city’s top police watchdog body, Adams, returned.

“We both know how much of a failure it was under you,” he said before talking about his work with a New York representative. Hakeem Geoffries, a high-ranking Brooklyn congressman who is widely viewed as a possible successor to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic House leadership.

However, Geoffrey has backed Ville – one of his fiercest rivals to give perhaps the most influential support in Adams’ borough.


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