New York City Mayor Eric Adams said New Yorkers want more police on the streets to help combat the sweeping crime wave that has seen murders and violent crimes up 40% compared to last year.
‘Public safety and the criminal justice system includes police and when I go to my communities of color, and I’ve never heard them, never, heard them say: “Eric we want less police.” Never,’ Adams said on the Tavis Smiley radio show Tuesday.
Major crimes in NYC have risen approximately 37%, according to NYPD data, an increase that has been mainly boosted by grand larcenies, robberies and auto thefts.
Adams indicated he won’t be entertaining calls to decrease the number of cops in the city, but will discourage ‘heavy-handed’ policing from NYPD officers.
Police officers are part of the mayor’s ‘public safety apparatus,’ he said, adding: ‘You can’t remove police from this equation,’ which includes dealing with the issues around homelessness and improving the school system.
He added that he doesn’t plan to stop talking about the crime in the Big Apple anytime soon, and said ‘I’m not going to be inconsistent and not talk about the violence that has happened in our cities every day. We need police to do their job.’
Police officers are part of the mayor’s ‘public safety apparatus,’ New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, adding: ‘You can’t remove police from this equation’
Surveillance photo of the suspect wanted for killing 19-year-old Kristal Bayron-Nieves while robbing a Burger King for just $100
Police arrest people protesting against President Trump supporters marching down Broadway carrying a giant Trump flag on October 21, 2020 in lower Manhattan
Adams emphasized the necessity of preventative measures rather than reactive measures, and said ‘by the time a child picks up a gun, we’ve already lost.’
While murders in the city are down 5.6%, robbery is up 39.2%, from 6,530 to 9,091, and burglaries increased by 32.9%, from 6,251 to 8,305, according to NYPD data.
Felonious assault rose by 18.6% and rapes saw an 11% increase so far this year over 2021.
‘It appears there’s a normalization to this violence, and we’re saying no to that,’ Adams told Smiley. The Mayor said reforming a system takes time, and ‘when you look at how to reform a system, you don’t destroy a system.’
Adams has been a vociferous supporter of an expansion in the city’s police presence since becoming mayor in 2021, doubling the number of cops on the city’s subway and bringing back plain-clothes officers in new Neighborhood Safety Teams.
He aims to prevent brutal crimes like the murder of 19-year-old Kristal Bayron-Nieves, who was shot dead while working a late shift at Burger King in January.
Bayron-Nieves gave the armed robber $100 from the register, but as he turned to leave, he turned back to the teenager and fatally shot her in the torso.
Crime in the city’s subway system has shocked New Yorkers this year, most recently emphasized by the brutal assault of an NYPD officer by a teenager who was released on bail shortly after the attack.
Horrifying footage showed the 16-year-old punching the cop in the head before grabbing him around the neck and slamming him repeatedly into metal railings on Saturday.
The teen was previously arrested for possession of a loaded gun and robbery last Wednesday, but was released the next day after appearing in court.
Crime has skyrocketed in New York City over the past couple of years. So far this year, crime is up 36 percent compared to the same time last year
Michelle Go, 40, died after being pushed onto the tracks and into the path of an oncoming train at the Times Square subway station by Martial Simon, 61
Adams said the decision to free the boy on bail had reduced the Big Apple to a national ‘laughingstock’ thanks to lax bail laws that prioritize the wellbeing of suspects over crime victims.
The city was also jarred in January by the death of Michelle Go, a 40-year-old woman who was pushed in front of an oncoming train at Times Square subway station by Martial Simon, a homeless ex-con.
Adams lauded President Joe Biden’s comments in May indicating cities use federal pandemic stimulus money to hire more cops, calling it ‘a step in the right direction.’
‘To every governor, every mayor, every county official, the need is clear. My message is clear: Spend this money now that you have. Use these funds we made available to you to prioritize public safety,’ Biden said in the White House Rose Garden earlier this year.
Adams has also taken steps to expand the city’s speed camera program to operate around the clock in a bid to reduce traffic fatalities — while also generating additional millions in revenue for the city.
On Monday, Adams held a press conference to ‘flip the switch’ on the 24/7 camera enforcement program, which issues $50 tickets to cars busted going at least 11mph over the city’s 25mph speed limit for residential streets.
‘Traffic safety is public safety, and today marks the start of a new chapter for traffic safety in our city,’ said Adams. ‘A city that never sleeps deserves a camera system that won’t take a nap.’
On Monday, Adams held a press conference to ‘flip the switch’ on the 24/7 camera enforcement program, which issues $50 tickets to cars going at least 11mph over the limit
New York first introduced speed camera enforcement in 2014, and city officials say that since the program began, speeding violations are down 72 percent on average at camera locations.
However during 2020, 54 percent of traffic-related deaths in the camera zones took place when cameras were required to be switched off overnight and on weekends, the city says.
New York has been grappling with rising traffic fatalities, which rose during the pandemic as empty streets encouraged reckless speeding.
So far this year there have been 142 traffic fatalities in the city, up 20 percent from the pre-pandemic baseline in 2019.