The resignation of New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell was a surprising move that was given little foreshadowing, The New York Times reports. Sewell sent out a department-wide resignation email shortly after meeting with Mayor Eric Adams on Monday. Rumors had spread over the past year of other city officials undermining her authority, specifically Philip Banks III, the deputy mayor of public safety, and Timothy Pearson, a senior advisor to Adams. A high-ranking City Hall official said Sewell and Adams’ relationship appeared to reach a breaking point in recent days.
Banks said in a text that any suggestion of meddling was “untruthful gossip.” Last month, Sewell moved to strip the highest-ranking uniformed officer and a close associate of Adams of 10 vacation days after he interfered with the arrest of a retired officer who chased three boys while he was armed. Around the same time, she was told she could not make discretionary promotions even at the lower levels of the department without getting clearance from the Adams administration, said Kenneth Corey, the former chief of the department. “She was gradually being stripped of power,” Corey said. “Now they had taken the power to make the most basic of decisions.” Sewell has not provided a reason for her decision to leave the job.