Eric Adams, a 60-year-old former NYPD police captain, on Tuesday was confirmed as the winner of the Democratic primary, putting him on track to secure victory in the strongly-Democrat state at November’s election.
He wasted no time in attacking Cuomo, also a Democrat, and used his first interview to condemn the veteran governor.
Asked for his response to Cuomo’s gun violence plan, Adams replied: ‘My first question is, what took so long? And why has it taken us so long, watching these babies die, year after year after year? No one seems to care.’
Eric Adams, who is on track to be elected mayor of New York City in November, on Wednesday morning said that Andrew Cuomo’s gun violence reduction plan should have been ushered in earlier
Adams, 60, served as a captain in the NYPD and then entered politics, becoming Brooklyn borough president. Asked for his response to Cuomo’s gun violence plan, he replied: ‘My first question is, what took so long? And why has it taken us so long, watching these babies die, year after year after year?’
Adams campaigned on a ticket of improving law and order in the city, which is seeing soaring violence.
New York City has seen 765 shootings in the city so far this year, compared to 555 shootings during the same time last year.
Cuomo on Tuesday unveiled a $139 million seven-point plan, with emphasis on violence reduction initiatives, jobs and training for those at risk of getting swept up in gun crime, and making the gun manufacturers more accountable to victims’ families.
New York became the first state in the nation to declare gun violence an emergency on Tuesday as Cuomo pointed the finger at the manufacturers of weapons as one of the main reasons behind the spate of shootings and killings that is at its highest level since the early 2000s.
Cuomo is finally taking action over the surging crime rate in the Big Apple and the rest of the state, by signing legislation allowing for a lawsuit to be brought in cases where ‘reasonable controls and procedures are not in place’.
He also closed a loophole that allowed people with outstanding warrants for their arrest to purchase guns and said that they want to form a council aimed at gun-violence prevention.
However, critics have claimed it is ‘political grandstanding’ and that an increase in gun violence has been caused by ‘soft-on-crime’ policies such as the early release of prisoners, treating criminals ‘like victims’ and calls to defund the police.
Cuomo has long had a contentious relationship with the current mayor, Bill de Blasio, and in response to Adams’ criticism blamed the incumbent.
‘Policing is a local government issue managed by the mayor, and Mr Adams is right that it has taken too long to step up and take charge on the gun violence issue,’ said Rich Azzopardi, an advisor to Cuomo.
‘The governor is stepping in because too little has been done by the local leadership.
‘The governor mandated all local governments reform their police systems last year, and some made more progress than others.’
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, was in Manhattan on Tuesday to sign into law a $139 million plan to combat gun crime in the state. Almost half of the money will go to violence prevention initiatives and finding jobs and training for young people deemed most at risk
However, critics have claimed it is ‘political grandstanding’ and that an increase in gun violence is caused by soft crime policies
Adams mingles with supporters during his election night party, late on June 22
Adams did praise Cuomo’s plan to invest more money in violence prevention, and said Cuomo was right to describe it as a public health crisis.
‘It’s going to allow the easiest accessibility to finance and money,’ he said.
‘We need to teach, treat gun violence as a public health emergency. Every agency in the city, in this country, must be part of dealing with gun violence because if we deal with the gun violence, we’re going to start dealing with the feeders of violence.
‘We’ve ignored that for far too long.’
Over the Fourth of July weekend, 51 people were shot in New York state with 26 of those in New York City alone. At least two of those were killed.
Across the state, 14 victims were in Buffalo, five in Syracuse, three on Long Island, two in Utica and one in Rochester.
During the holiday weekend, 13 people in the state died of COVID-19.
New York City police officers investigate the scene where a man was shot and killed in Brooklyn on June 11. Gun crime is soaring in the city, and across the state
New York City police officers with the Crime Scene Unit investigate the scene in Brooklyn on June 11
Adams was attack earlier on Wednesday by former MSNBC host Toure – a left-wing podcast host with a large following.
Toure claimed on Twitter that Adams wouldn’t live up to his promises to bring change to the city’s police department.
‘If you marched in NYC last year to protest police violence and this year voted for Eric Adams to be Mayor, I don’t understand you,’ Toure said.
‘Cops cannot get us to the real police reform we need.’
Adams insisted that he was indeed the man for the job.
‘I say that it’s time for us to stop believing that we should have the right tweets — we should have the right safe streets,’ he told CNN.
‘I say that when [Touré] gets on the subway, he does not want to be pushed to the subway tracks, and he doesn’t want to be slashed.
‘He does not want his son to be like young 10-year-old Justin, who was shot and killed in Rockaway by gun violence.’
And Adams said he was confident that New York City could lead the nation in reducing violent crime.
‘I know how we can turn around not only New York, but America,’ he said.
‘New York is going to show America how to run cities.
‘We’re in a terrible place, and we can turn this country and city around.’