High-profile figures gathered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Monday to pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and one speaker made headlines by throwing his support behind NYC’s beleaguered Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Eric Adams is the Brooklyn Borough President as well as a former NYPD cop and his introduction of Mayor de Blasio included criticism of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association’s continued attacks on the mayor. According to the New York Observer:
“It is not his job for public safety for parts of this city—he is the chief executive to protect the entire city,” Mr. Adams told an enthusiastic crowd at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. “Unions should always fight for their members, but they should never get it twisted. When it’s time to determine what policies are going to impact the people of the City of New York, I did not elect the PBA. I elected the mayor.”
Adams was making reference to battles between City Hall and the PBA, specifically the organization’s leader, Patrick Lynch, who has stated that de Blasio had “blood on his hands” when two patrolmen were executed by a mentally-ill man back in December.
Many officers have stated that de Blasio’s public comments, in which he warned his bi-racial son to take “special care” when interacting with police, are an indication that he does not support the NYPD. Adams, who is black, said that he’s had the same conversation with his own son:
“No matter how difficult it was for some people to absorb, his testimony about his son, that’s a conversation I had with my own son. Remember, de Blasio didn’t adopt Dante, that’s his seed,” an energetic Mr. Adams shouted to the crowd as they erupted in applause. “When you look across the table at someone that you must assure his safety, and you realize that the department is not doing that, you better speak up!”
Formerly a cop for 22 years, Adams was once a member of the PBA and his speech on Monday made it clear that support for the elected mayor takes precedence when it comes to protecting the city. The Borough President went on to emphasize that people should step up when times are darkest:
“I remember studying to become a lieutenant and someone shot out my car windows, and how I felt just as though it was a challenging period, and I was broken. It was my moment to shine,” Mr. Adams said.
Following Adams fiery introduction, Mayor de Blasio reportedly received a standing ovation.
Seemingly not content with just making one pointed statement, the Brooklyn BP also addressed the class disparities that exist in low level crime arrests, saying, “People on Park Avenue smoke as many joints as everyone else!”
(Photo: Megan Specia)