New York City Mayor Eric Adams painted himself as a compassionate but tough-on-crime Democrat as he looks to build his national profile amid a rise in gun violence. Adams, who tried to reform the New York Police Department from within before becoming a state senator, was elected mayor on the promise to improve quality-of-life issues and drive down violent crime, Politico reports. “This is my history of fighting against heavy-handed and abusive policing. You can have the justice that we deserve with the safety we need,” Adams said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Adams said the NYPD’s controversial new anti-crime unit has taken “20-something guns” off the streets. He called on the federal government to boost funding for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to better track guns flooding cities — a conversation Adams said he had with President Biden and chief of staff Ron Klain on Saturday.
New York City reported the highest number of shootings in a decade, with a 40 percent spike in homicides over the last two years. The city is confronting quality-of-life issues Adams described as people injecting heroin in the parks in front of children or going into stores, stealing “whatever they want” and jumping subway turnstiles. Adams dismissed concerns that his policies were dressed-up broken-windows policing — an approach used by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani that critics said unfairly targeted minorities. Since taking office on Jan. 1, Adams has deployed hundreds of cops into the subway system to remove homeless people and tore down nearly 250 encampments across the city’s streets. Adams has declared himself the “new face of the Democratic Party,” and a model for how the party could reclaim an authoritative position on public safety issues that Republicans tend to dominate.