Democratic New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams is reaffirming his pledge to bring back the New York Police Department's plainclothes unit despite apparent threats of violence the leader of a racial justice group made yesterday.
Adams, a former police captain, said he would not be dissuaded by the leader of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, an organization that falls outside the hierarchy of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, indicating there would be "bloodshed" if the mayor-elect followed through with his pledge to reinstate the plainclothes unit.
"I ran on a very clear message: My city will not be unsafe," he told Fox 5 Thursday morning. "And that is what we're going to do. Clear plan. Putting in place a plainclothes, anti-gun unit. That will happen, and this city is going to be safe."
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Adams also suggested the leader was not necessarily representative of the larger Black Lives Matter movement.
"In New York, every day there's a new person coming out saying things," he said. "Those 13 people are not representative of the black lives movement. You have great leaders who have pushed for this in the city, and we're going to get there."
A Wednesday meeting between Adams and the activist became tense at times, with the activist suggesting there could be violence if the plan goes into effect once Adams takes office.
"If they think they are going back to the old ways of policing, then we're going to take to the streets again," New York Black Lives Matter of Greater New York leader Hawk Newsome said following the meeting. "There will be riots, there will be fire, and there will be bloodshed."
Newsome subsequently appeared to walk those comments back, saying he was "not threatening anyone."
"I am just saying that it's a natural response to aggressive oppression. People will react," Newsome said, according to the New York Post.
The city's plainclothes unit was previously disbanded in the wake of the protests across the country last summer following the death of George Floyd.
Adams, who was elected mayor on Nov. 2, also noted that the leaders held back on some of their rhetoric during the meeting and suggested they did so because it was streamed on Facebook Live.
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The meeting marked the first time a sitting mayor or mayor-elect of New York City sat down with the racial justice leader, according to New York Fox 5.
Adams, a Brooklyn borough president who vowed during his primary campaign to be tough on crime, touting his police credentials, will be sworn in as mayor on Jan. 1.