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NYC Mayor-Elect Eric Adams And Local BLM Group Clash Over Plan To Bring Back Controversial Anti-Crime Unit

Adams promises to balance police reform with more aggressive law enforcement, but a Black Lives Matter group leader says “riots” could result.

A leader of a Black Lives Matter group in New York City warned of “riots” if the city’s Mayor-elect Eric Adams keeps his campaign promise to revive a plainclothes police anti-crime unit that was involved with controversial stop and frisk tactics in communities of color.

“If he thinks that they’re going to go back to the old ways of policing, then we are going to take to the streets again,” Hawk Newsome, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, said after a meeting Wednesday (Nov. 10) with Adams in Brooklyn, according to The New York Daily News.

“There will be riots, there will be fire and there will be bloodshed because we believe in defending our people,” Newsome continued.

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On the campaign trail, Adams, a retired NYPD captain, vowed to retrain the elite anti-crime police unit that was disbanded in June 2020. Complaints piled up against the plainclothes cops, accusing the officers of brutality and using questionable legal tactics when policing the city’s Black and brown neighborhoods.

After the meeting, Adams, who won the city’s mayoral election earlier this month and is poised to become its second Black mayor, was unmoved by what some media has interpreted as threats.

“There are very few things that frighten and scare me and New Yorkers are not going to live in fear and we’re not going to be intimidated by anyone,” Adams said Thursday (Oct. 11), according to CBS New York.

Adams added, “New Yorkers should not allow rhetoric like that. This city is not going to be a city of riots. This city is not going to be a city of burning. This is going to be a city where we’re going to be safe. We’re going to have effective policing that’s not heavy-handed.”

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“He’s completely ignoring our advice and the problem is it’s going to lead to police brutality and police killings and that will subsequently lead to riots and outrage and buildings on fire,” Newsome countered, adding that the mayor-elect should focus on police accountability and creating jobs in minority communities.

Before becoming a politician, Adams had a two-decade career in the NYPD, during which he advocated for Black officers and spoke out publicly against police brutality, The New York Times reported. While campaigning for mayor, he positioned himself as the candidate best suited to reform the police department while aggressively fighting crime.

“If fringe elements want to hurl rhetoric like that. That is silly to New Yorkers. This city is ready to move forward,” Adams said.

In describing the group as a “fringe” element, Adams appeared to refer to a BLM statement on June, 25,  2020 that said, “Hawk Newsome has no relation to the Black Lives Matter Global Network (“BLM”) founded by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi — and is not the “president” of BLM or any of its chapters.”

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