Maya Wiley hit Andrew Yang over NYPD knowledge, though her own is lacking

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Mayoral candidate and civil rights attorney Maya Wiley held a press conference Friday solely to highlight rival Andrew Yang’s lack of knowledge about major NYPD reforms — while inadvertently revealing her own ignorance about law enforcement fundamentals.

“Can you imagine a woman running to be the mayor of the largest city in the nation not actually knowing or understanding how the police department works?” Wiley asked at the Brooklyn event.

“Let’s be honest I don’t think that would fly and frankly I don’t think it should,” Wiley said.

On Thursday, Yang couldn’t answer basic questions about the department’s two most important reforms over the past year — the repeal of 50a, the state law that shielded police disciplinary records from the public until it was overturned last year, and the controversial new chokehold law.

Wiley, who led the police oversight agency the Civilian Complaint Review Board from 2016 to 2017, showed off her own knowledge of the department by noting that “the New York City Police Department has 36,000 uniformed, badged, gun-carrying members and over 50,000 employees when you add in the 19,000 civilian employees.”

New York mayoral candidates Maya Wiley and Andrew Yang hold a joint press conference after having both received the endorsement of the Freelancer's Union.
Andrew Yang failed to answer questions about police reform in the NYPD.
Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

But when asked if she knew the standard issue firearm for NYPD officers, she was stumped.

“The standard issue firearm? I actually don’t,” she said.

“I know it’s a gun, I know it has killed people and I know too often they’re black and brown,” she said.

The NYPD, like most law enforcement agencies across the country, uses a Glock 19.

Wiley also attacked Yang’s plan for police to give warnings to mentally ill people before arresting them. She said the plan “misunderstands…what mental illness is,” because people suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder might not understand they’re committing an offense.

New York City mayoral candidate Maya Wiley, a former civil rights attorney, gestures as she speaks to the press after greeting health care workers and members of Local 1199 in front of New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, Thursday, May 20, 2021, in New York. With the June 22 Democratic primary looming, television advertisements starting to air, candidates are increasingly meeting voters in person after more than a year of campaigning online because of the pandemic.
When Maya Wiley was asked about which gun is standard issue for an NYPD officer, she did not know.
Kathy Willens/AP

But asked if she’d expand Kendra’s Law, which allows for mandatory treatment of mentally ill people with a history of violence, Wiley dodged the question.

“I haven’t taken a public position on it,” she said, adding, “We’re going to do a comprehensive mental health approach.”

At least two other candidates, Eric Adams and Ray McGuire, support the law’s expansion.

Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) wasn’t impressed with Wiley’s command of law enforcement issues.

Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang addressed press with council member Carlos Menchaca at his side at Battery Park in New York on May 18, 2021. Yang discussed contributions made to his rival Eric Adams as described in the New York Times article. He also proposed to lower the age of the voters in the city to 16-year old making high school seniors eligible to vote.
Maya Wiley said a female candidate wouldn’t be able to get away with not knowing about the recent reforms like Andrew Yang had trouble with this week.
Lev Radin/Sipa USA

“Wiley seems to typify the general ignorance of progressive on all things police, and yet wants to reform the NYPD,” he told The Post.

“It’s like me critiquing NASA on their Mars Rover. New York won’t be safer if she wins,” Borelli said.

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