In the wake of several recent deadly subway crimes, New York City Mayor, and former NYPD officer, Eric Adams, called on all New Yorkers to "not remain silent" and loudly support the police to "bring the city back," a clear challenge to calls from some of his Democratic colleagues, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., that have spoken out against the department, calling for it to be "defunded."
"I need you to raise your voice," Adams, a Democrat, told Jewish constituents celebrating Jewish Heritage Month at an event at Gracie Mansion in the city Tuesday night. "Everyone silently tells [myself and New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell] 'support the police.' We cannot do this with a whisper."
Adams said it is time the city goes on a "major public relations campaign" telling the country that New Yorkers support the police.
"We want our police," he said. "We want them to do their job."
Adams' remarks come as the city suffered a deadly subway shooting on the Q Train Sunday where Andrew Abdullah, 25, is accused of killing passenger Daniel Enriquez, 48, by shooting him in the chest during what policer are calling "an unprovoked attack," the New York Times reported Tuesday.
"This horrific crime should never have happened," Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a news conference Tuesday after Abdullah turned himself in to police in a Chinatown precinct, noting Abdullah had a string of prior arrests. "The violence on the Q train last Sunday morning was committed by another repeat offender, who was given every leeway by the criminal justice system."
This week's crime followed a similar subway shooting six weeks ago that saw Frank James, 62, wearing a construction vest and gas mask, enter an N Train subway car around 8:30 a.m., detonated two smoke bombs, and then fired 33 shots into the crowd of passengers, striking 10, and injuring a total of 23, the Times reported in April.
The injuries suffered in that attack were not life threatening.
In February, a random attack of a homeless man with mental health issues pushing a 40-year-old woman to her death in front of a train at a station in Times Square caused panic in the city, which has seen public transit crime increase by more than 50% over last year.
Adams said Tuesday that the increase in crime may be making residents feel like prisoners in their own city, and the time for a greater police presence is now.
His calls, however, run contradictory from many top Democrats who have called for less policing in the wake of George Floyd's 2020 murder at the hands of Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin.
When former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio cut the police budget by more than $1 billion in June 2020 as a reaction to Floyd's death, AOC said the cut was not enough, according to a report in The Hill.
"Defunding police means defunding police," the congresswoman said in a statement. "It does not mean budget tricks or funny math. It does not mean moving school police officers from the NYPD budget to the Department of Education's budget, so the exact same police remain in schools."
Schumer refused to support a resolution on the Senate floor opposing calls to defund police in 2020
"The great worry so many Americans have is that so many on the other side will feel rhetoric and then try to let this go away. We demand action, and we demand it now. Real action, not rhetoric," Schumer said in a story in The Hill at the time. "The resolution by my friend will do nothing. Nothing. It is rhetoric."
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