Adams ultimately sat down with the group, though he told reporters he still planned on moving forward
Mayor-elect Eric Adams has considered reinstating a plainclothes NYPD unit that was disbanded amid calls to defund police in 2020. Adams, a former police captain and Democrat mayor-elect, has considered reinstating the unit in order to curb gang and gun violence. Though Adams has yet to take any action, prominent NYC Black Lives Matter activists have threatened riots and “bloodshed” should the unit be reorganized.
“If they think that they’re going to go back to the old ways of policing, then we are going to take to the streets again,” said BLM Greater New York chapter president Hawk Newsome. “There will be riots, there will be fire and there will be bloodshed, because we believe in defending our people.”
Newsome, along with his sister and a group of other BLM activists, held a rally outside Adams’ office. “We will shut the city down. We will shut down City Hall, and we will give him hell and make it a nightmare,” said Chivona Newsome, a co-founder of the chapter. Adams, a Democrat, ultimately invited the group inside his office for talks.
On Thursday, Adams told CNN that he planned on creating a plainclothes gun unit. The mayor-elect made public safety a top campaign issue and had previously discussed reinstating a similar unit that was disbanded during the BLM riots in 2020. “I made it clear on the campaign trail. I’m going to put in place — not the anti-crime unit — I’m going to put in place a plainclothes gun unit,” Adams said. “We must zero in on gun violence in our city.”
Though Adams sat down with the group, he told reporters that his plans were not going to be deterred. He added that the majority of NYC residents “do not agree” with the group and stated that backing down on the formation of the unit was never discussed.
Chivona Newsome told reporters that she was displeased with Adams and his manner of speaking after the meeting. “I don’t know if it was misogyny or ageism, but as the only woman in the room, as the co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, Mayor-elect Adams thought it was best to correct me, and he wants to know how he can hold me accountable,” she said.