Mayor Eric Adam’s favorite quote is that “public safety is a prerequisite of prosperity.” However, after his rollouts for public safety many are beginning to disagree with his methods at achieving that for the city.
In a presser on May 3, Adams said that the public safety initiatives would “zero in” and go after gangs as the drivers of the city’s shootings while involving all city agencies in the fight to keep the city safer.
“My meeting on Saturday with my commanders and hearing from them, it was an extremely revealing meeting on what needed to be done on the ground,” said Adams. “And what we have historically done, we have tied public safety only to policing. We are going to engage every agency in this city to be part of our public safety fight.”
Adams is laying down a message of law and order with a strong backing of police officers to get the job done.
“Listen, for eight years, we have told police for the most part, not to carry out public safety. Don’t deal with jumping the turnstile. Don’t deal with people going to the store, stealing. Open drugs displays in our city,” said Adams. “That stopped. January 1st, that message is over, and we are going to get on the ground to every police officer. We’re not going to have the city of disorder. And that’s part of the plan that was rolled out this weekend.”
The effort followed Adams’ investment into combating gun violence and maintaining street safety in the fiscal year 2023 executive budget. Statistically, shooting victims and incidents have dropped this month but are still higher than they were this time last year, said NYPD data. However, crimes like larceny, assault, hate crimes, burglary, car theft, and transit crimes are still spiking. Recently, though, people are complaining about the unease the increase in cop presence brings to the streets and subways, especially in Black and Brown neighborhoods.
Adams has received backlash in the case of one arrest of a female street vendor, María Falcon, who was arrested selling mangoes in April at the Broadway Junction subway station. According to Grub Street, Falcon had her cart and fruit confiscated, “and was strip-searched for drugs and weapons before receiving a citation.”
Darian X, the lead campaign organizer at Brooklyn Movement Center, commented on the recent arrest of Falcon. “The arrest of María Falcon during a time when communities like ours in Central Brooklyn are without access to critical basic services like employment, health care, and education is shameful and a further exemplification of the way the mayor’s police initiatives are failing us,” said X.
“Unfortunately, we have a mayor who will speak of the resources that we need but only offers policing as a solution. Mayor Adams, as Brooklyn borough president, advocated to lift the restrictive and outdated permit cap for street vendors by 4,000 permits. But now he tells us that arrests and summons should be the way of life for those already most impacted and underrepresented,” continued X.
X said that organizations like BMC in the central Brooklyn community wholeheartedly disagree with Adams’ stance on the issue.
“Quality of life should be measured in the city’s ability to meet community needs, not in policing data,” said X.
Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about culture and politics in New York City for The Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/fcszwj8w