“Get Stuff Done” is reportedly New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ motto, and yet, after nearly 100 days in office, all Adams seems to do is repeatedly pledge his allegiance to the New York Police Department.
Following Tuesday morning’s rush hour shooting in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, which left an estimated 29 people injured, including 10 who were shot inside the 36th Street subway station, Adams promised to double the number of police officers in the city’s subway system. The pledge came just two days after the former NYPD captain said he intended on adding more anti-gun units to patrol the five boroughs in anticipation of a spike in crime this summer.
“I will say to New Yorkers we’re going to hold the day tour of the transit police officers to double the number of officers that are traditionally patrolling the system,” Adams said.
It’s important not to note that earlier this year, Adams proposed a $98 billion fiscal budget that included 3% cuts to the lion’s share of city agencies and a reduction in city workers, yet unsurprisingly did not feature any cuts for the NYPD.
Less than one month ago, Adams also gave transit hubs an unwelcome boost of police presence, touting a crackdown not only on homeless and displaced citizens who often rely on subway stations for shelter—especially in winter months—but also on “turnstile jumpers,” as if that’s the real problem facing our city. Shortly thereafter, social media was flooded with photos and videos of officers brutally removing homeless people from stations and arresting those who attempted to enter the train without a MetroCard.
For as long as he’s been in office, Adams has emphasized the city’s “rise in crime” and encouraged citizens to “get back to work” amidst an enduring, evolving pandemic. All the while, the mayor has basked in glossy profiles, which detail his run-ins with A-listers like Kate Hudson and Golide Hawn at downtown members-only social club, Zero Bond, and his partying with A$AP Rocky and Cara Delevingne at a promotional event for Wells Fargo.
As news of the shooting spread, New Yorkers were quick to point out Sunset Park’s demographics (predominantly working-class Latinx and AAPI) and criticized Adams’ failed policies—aptly noting that an increase in cops has clearly done anything but result in a decrease in crime and has, in fact, led to further criminalization of innocent people.
In a press conference hours after the attack, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said that while she was “not ruling out anything,” the shooting was not being investigated as terrorism. Terrifyingly, several hours after he released a canister of smoke and began shooting aboard a full N train, the suspected gunman has yet to be apprehended by the NYPD, and his motive remains unknown.
As the station swarmed with fleeing passengers, police, press and passersby, schools spanning Brooklyn were instructed to shelter-in-place as citizens across the city were left panic-stricken. Meanwhile, Adams gave interviews from Gracie Mansion, where he’s currently isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus. While speaking to WCBS 880 radio, he revealed the solitary security camera operating at the station currently has a “malfunction” and thus did not capture any footage of the tragic incident.
Adams recently described himself as “perfectly imperfect,” and while I don’t usually side with him, that’s at least one thing he’s said that’s true.