New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday asserted “major mistakes” made in years past caused people to lose trust in the police and the city’s ability to keep crime in check.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Adams said he agreed with former New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who in recent comments lamented “reforms of the progressive left” went “a bit too far.”
“Major mistakes made throughout the years that destroyed the trust,” Adams told “This Week,” adding: “We have to rebuild that trust.”
“But we can’t rebuild that trust by allowing those who are dangerous and that have … a repeated history of violence to continue to be on our streets,” he said. “We have to un-bottleneck the courts. Too many people during COVID, when courts closed down, have not served their time or have not been in the courtroom. And then we have to be honest about some of the things we’re doing generationally that has created the crime problem that we are facing right now. And that is why we believe in intervention and prevention to solve this issue that we’re facing.”
According to Adams, those who didn’t vote for President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” social spending plan are the literal “defunders of police.”
“Money was in that bill for police officers,” he said. “We have 2,400 [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] agents in our country. Only 80 are in New York. We need to double that amount. We need to go after the ‘ghost guns.’ We need to put a head to ATF in place, put in place a real gun-tracing program.”
“And then we have to be preventive,” he continued. “Many of these generational social problems have become the pipeline to violence. And the only thing that is beating that pipeline is the pipeline of guns that are coming into our inner cities.”
Adams said cities all around the nation are “hurting.”
“We’re going to do our job. We took 1,800 guns off the street this year of — and we know that they continue to flow into our cities all across America,” he said.
The mayor also decried the internet rantings of Frank James, the man accused of a subway shooting that hit 10 people and injured more than a dozen others.
“I think social media must step up,” Adams said, “There’s a corporate responsibility when we are watching hate brew online.”
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, who also participated in the interview, noted crime is down in the city’s subway system, but acknowledged people need to see more police underground.
“As it stands now, crime in the subway is actually below pre-COVID numbers,” she said. “But last week we graduated more recruits from the Police Academy and we’re surging more officers into the subway system. We recognize that people need to see a visible presence of police in the subway, and we’re endeavoring to make sure that that happens.”
“There’s also security measures that we don’t see, but we understand that that reassurance is required and we’re putting multiple officers in the subways every single day,” she added
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