New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams refused to back down from his promise to crack down on gun violence despite a local Black Lives Matter leader threatening "bloodshed" as a result.
Adams, currently Brooklyn borough president and a retired police captain, made a campaign promise to reinstate the NYPD's plainclothes unit.
"I made it clear on the campaign trail," Adams said Thursday morning on CNN. "I’m going to put in place not the Anti-Crime Unit, I'm going to put in place a plainclothes gun unit. We must zero in on gun violence in our community.
"You’ve seen what’s happening when a young man, 21 years old, was shot by a 17-year-old man carrying a gun," added Adams, referring to a recent botched gang hit that killed an innocent man in The Bronx.
"This is what I’m going to do. That was my promise and I’m going to keep it."
Adams' remarks came a day after he, New York BLM co-founder Hawk Newsome, and several other BLM members debated the plan for a return to tougher policing during a contentious sit-down Wednesday that was livestreamed on Instagram.
One BLM member asked Adams, "What are you going to do to hold NYPD accountable for their unlawful actions?"
"Brother, have you been living under a rock? I did it in the department!" said Adams, who pushed police reform as a co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care while a member of the NYPD.
Newsome expressed skepticism about Adams' plans.
"If they think they are going back to the old ways of policing then we’re going to take to the streets again," Newsome told reporters after the meeting, the New York Post reported.
"There will be riots. There will be fire, and there will be bloodshed."
The Post reported that Adams campaigned to bring back a "reinvented" version of the Anti-Crime Unit that was tasked with firearm busts, as well as a crackdown on violent crime and hard drugs. The unit was dissolved in June 2020 by Police Commissioner Dermot Shea following a "disproportionate" number of high-profile incidents that involved the plainclothes cops.
The unit was dismantled in the wake of the George Floyd protests because some of the officers in the unit were involved in the high-profile killings of victims such as Eric Garner and Sean Bell years earlier, the Post said.
Adams also told CNN that he was a true progressive — unlike people such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. — because he makes decisions based on practicality, not ideology.
"I believe being practical is being progressive," he said.
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