The head of the City Council on Thursday challenged Mayor Eric Adam’s assertion that protests against police brutality are somehow linked to the recent surge in violent crime — as the mayor’s public safety record comes under increasing scrutiny.
Council Speaker Adrienne Adams responded to Adams’ attack on the protest movement during an interview Wednesday night when asked about the 40 percent spike in violent crime since his administration began.
“I certainly don’t speak for the Mayor, I never would because I can’t,” the city’s top lawmaker (D-Queens) told reporters during an unrelated press conference. “What I would say, though, is that people who believe black lives matter care about black lives. Period.”
Hizzoner made cutting crime and tackling quality of life issues central tenants of his mayoral campaign last year, but his administration is coming under new pressure to make progress as crime continues to rise three months into his tenure.
He was pressed on the surge in violence — particularly the dozen-plus shootings that erupted Tuesday as the manhunt for alleged subway madman Frank James was underway — during an interview Wednesday, shortly after James’ arrest.
Adams almost immediately pivoted to the protestors in his response.
“Here’s my question that I put out to the city: Hey, I thought black lives matter,” Adams retorted during the appearance on NY1. “Where are all those who stated that black lives matter?”
“Then go do an analysis of who was killed or shot last night. I was up all night speaking to my commanders in the Bronx and in Brooklyn,” he continued. “The victims were black. Many of the shooters were black.”
Adams also attempted to pin some responsibility for the crime surge on parents, who he said should be keeping closer tabs on their children.
“So I ask the question that was asked of me as a child, it’s 10 p.m. do you know where your children are,” he added, referring to a famous public service announcement that ran on TV stations as the city averaged more than 1,500 murders annually in the 1970s and 80s.
The mayor then circled back to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“When are we going to start asking the asking the serious question — if black lives matter then the thousands of people I saw on the street when [George] Floyd was murdered should be on the street right now,” he concluded. “We can’t be hypocrites.”
City Hall did not immediately respond to requests for comment.