Former cop and mayoral frontrunner Eric Adams said Monday he would fight crime in the mold of the late Mayor David Dinkins — and not follow the lead of either Bill de Blasio or Rudy Giuliani.
Asked on CNN’s “New Day” by host John Berman if he would approach crime prevention like the current mayor or Giuliani, Adams said neither.
“Oh no, it would look like what David Dinkins’ looked like,” said Adams of his administration, if he’s elected, referring to the one-term Dinkins, the city’s only black mayor, who passed away last year.
Adams — who after Dinkins’ death in November called him “a great champion for people of color and a historic leader for a more inclusive city” — said his former friend and mentor helmed the city when the NYPD began implementing the “community policing” model.
“He was the one that started the Safe Streets initiative by bringing more and more enforcement, but doing community policing, and then we want to evolve to another level,” Adams said Monday.
Dinkins was in office from 1990 to 1993.
Adams, a former NYPD captain, said the problem with Giuliani’s handling of crime during his tenure in the 1990s — which has been credited with cleaning up formerly seedy areas like Times Square — was “heavy-handed” and racially biased.
“He used a method of heavy-handed policing,” Adams said. “He used a method of stop, question and frisk to stop every young person based on where they live, and their ethnicity.
“That’s unacceptable, and I’ve testified in federal court to push back on that. What we must do is to use our tools to correct ways to keep the city safe but not to take away the justice of the citizens,” he added.
Adams also again weighed in on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement of his Democratic opponent Maya Wiley, a former de Blasio aide, over the weekend.
“Well, politics is local, and I think we all want to get inequalities in our cities across America,” said Adams, when asked about AOC’s endorsement of Wiley who has pledged to cut funding from the city’s police department.
“But this public safety part is where we differ, just [at a] time when we see a 8-year-old children and 10-year-old babies being murdered in our city, I just don’t support taking away our law enforcement apparatus as a former police officer, and as a person that has fought for social justice in the city.”
Adams and Wiley warred at separate press conferences on Sunday over their opposing approaches to policing — with the former cop slamming Wiley and Ocasio-Cortez for wanting to “slash the police department budget and shrink the police force at a time when black and brown babies are being shot in our streets.”