A New York City Black Lives Matter group threatened NYC Mayor-elect Eric Adams with “riots” and “bloodshed” if Adams restores the New York City Police Department’s anti-crime units.
The police anti-crime units were disbanded last year in reaction to Black Lives Matter protests and riots and calls to “defund” police departments. Adams, a Democrat, won election after campaigning on a tough-on-crime agenda and pledging to restore the NYPD’s anti-crime units.
Adams met with leaders of New York City’s Black Lives Matter movement at Brooklyn Borough Hall. After the meeting, Hawk Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, and his sister Chivona Newsome, also a co-founder of the group, threatened civil unrest and violence if Adams kept to his campaign pledge.
“If he thinks that they’re going to go back to the old ways of policing, then we are going to take to the streets again. There will be riots, there will be fire and there will be bloodshed because we believe in defending our people,” Newsome told the New York Daily News after the meeting.
“So there is no way that he is going to let some Gestapo come in here and harm our people,” he continued. “We pray for peace but … prepare for the worst.”
His sister added: “We will shut the city down. We will shut down City Hall, and we will give him hell and make it a nightmare.”
During the meeting, Adams “erupted” at Newsome after the BLM leader swore to hold Adams responsible for any future misconduct by the NYPD, according to the Daily News.
“You’re on the ground: Stop the violence in my community. I’m holding you accountable,” Adams said.
“Don’t hold me accountable,” he continued. “Being the mayor, being the borough president, being the state senator — I put my body on the line for my community, so I’m not here for folks to come and say, ‘Eric, we’re gonna hold you accountable.’”
“No, it’s us. We need to do this together,” Adams said.
Last year, Newsome suggested that his group would use violence and chaos to push its policy goals while claiming “self-defense.”
“If this country doesn’t give us what we want then we will burn down the system and replace it,” he said in a June 2020 interview with Fox News. “All right. And I could be speaking figuratively, I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation. Like let’s be very real and observe the history of the 1960s. When black people were rioting we have their highest growth and wealth and property ownership.”
The NYPD eliminated its anti-crime unit earlier that same month, reassigning roughly 600 officers from the units into other posts at the NYPD. At the time, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea defended the decision as a chance to “move forward and change how we police in this city.”
“This is 21st-century policing: intelligence, data, ShotSpotter, video, DNA, and building prosecutable cases,” Shea said. “It continues to be building these cases—cases on a small number of people that unfortunately still terrorize a part of this city. I would consider this in the realm of closing on one of the last chapters on stop, question and frisk.”