Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams today denounced remarks about policing from both former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and far-left protesters, saying that he belongs to a “silent majority” of Americans who favor a centrist approach to the growing conflict.
Mr. Adams lashed out while speaking to Geraldo Rivera on WABC at both claims by Mr. Giuliani that black-on-black crime—not police abuse—is the real problem in America, and at inflammatory anti-police rhetoric employed at recent mass protests over a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the homicide of Eric Garner. The borough president, a black former police officer and founder of the reform group 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, asserted that both kinds of statements are unproductive.
“I go to both ends of the spectrum. There are those who are part of the demonstrations that are really using terrible terms to defy police officers, and they are really not helping the situation, but causing it to be more volatile,” he said. “And on the other end of the spectrum, you have people like the [former] mayor and others who don’t really see that we’re having a law enforcement problem. That does not mean that we ignore or negate the fact that there is a crime problem throughout the country.”
Mr. Adams recalled that a criminal shot and killed a child in Brooklyn the same day that Officer Peter Liang fatally fired his gun at the unarmed Akai Gurley in the darkened stairwell of the Pink Houses in the impoverished East New York neighborhood.
“An innocent life is an innocent life, and consistency for me is important. And sometimes you take heat for that, but I’m not going to be inconsistent. I’m going to be consistent about public safety is public safety,” said Mr. Adams.
The pol called the rioting and looting that wracked Ferguson, Mo. following a grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for killing black teenager Michael Brown “despicable.” He argued that, despite increasingly extreme statements from both sides of issue, most citizens favor action that reduces both crime in black communities and police abuse.
“I believe there is a silent majority in this country that understands we must have good policing and we must have a balance, and we’re not on the fringe of either side of those issues, we’re part of the important middle ground that I really believe shapes America,” Mr. Adams said. “Both of them must be addressed. You don’t want one at the expense of the other. It’s unfortunate that there are some marchers using terrible terms defying cops and it’s unfortunate that the other end of the spectrum are using really volatile comments to defy the real concern that people have.”