Incoming New York City Mayor Eric Adams, in a speech Thursday, warned Black Lives Matter (BLM) leadership and other activists that he would not surrender the city to those who wish to burn it down. Adams, who is currently the Brooklyn borough president and a former state senator will take the reins from Bill de Blasio.

Co-founder of BLM of Greater New York, Hawk Newsome​, threatened riots and bloodshed in response to Adams’ proposed anti-crime unit. Newsom said in November, “There’s no way we’re going to let some Gestapos come in here and harm our people. We pray for peace, but Black opportunities prepare for the worst,” according to Fox 5.

Adams, a Democrat, will take office on January 1, 2022, and said in the speech, “We’re not going to have a city where anarchists come from outside our city and go into a community such as Queens and destroy the community for their own selfish needs or desires, according to the New York Post.

Adams, whose speech took place at a Policed Athletic League event, applauded New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Bill Bratton’s “broken window” policy, crediting Bratton with driving down the city’s murder rate as well as petty crime. Adam’s is also a retired NYPD captain and will become the city’s second Black Mayor, where he won in a landslide election last month. 

Adams won the mayoral race campaigning on cracking down on crime. Crime in New York City rose significantly from 2019 to 2020 and again from 2020 to 2021. One fourth of New Yorkers, including 24% of Democrats, said crime should be the top focus of legislators in a recent survey.

Adams made combating gun violence and improving public safety a main focus in his campaign, while also calling for cuts to the NYPD’s budget and the shifting of some jobs to civilians that have been done by officers, which he says could save the city up to $500 million a year. Following a worrisome surge in shootings not seen since the 1990’s, Adams says he’d like to reestablish a controversial plainclothes anti-crime unit that was dismantled by de Blasio just last year. He would also increase patrols at train and bus stations.

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