A coalition of Black and Brown community activists rallied in support of Eric Adams on Nov. 14 following verbal barbs between the mayor-elect and Black Lives Matter of Greater New York leader Hawk Newsome.
The group proudly clung to “Adams for mayor” signs in City Hall Park Sunday in a show of solidarity with the mayor-to-be after news circulated that Newsome promised swift retribution if Adams makes good on his vow to reinstate the NYPD Anti-Crime Unit, plainclothes officers working to catch gun criminals.
Disbanded in 2020 with officers reassigned, the Anti-Crime Units had garnered a reputation for being involved in episodes of police violence and shootings. Their dissolution, however, has not halted the progression of gun arrests, which NYPD officials reported have been much higher each month.
In response to a published threat from Newsome, who said the reinstatement of the Anti-Crime Units would be opposed with protests and rioting, the coalition of advocates from across the five boroughs said they stand with Adams and will serve as a barrier between the two clashing parties.
“Several days ago, our brother, our friend was disrespected,” said Geoffrey Davis, executive director of the James E. Davis Stop Violence Foundation. “Words were used that there is going to be bloodshed. There is going to be riots. Mayor-elect Adams all throughout his campaign, told his position — public safety. There’s a problem in the city where our families, our children, our seniors are getting shot down in the street.”
The foundation is named for the late Brooklyn City Councilman James E. Davis, Geoffrey’s brother, who was assassinated at City Hall by a political rival in July 2003.
The group of Adams backers say they yearn to see a safer city and tear down notions any notion that progressives and Democrats don’t support law and order. However, some at the rally appeared to send mixed messages Sunday afternoon.
While denouncing Black Lives Matter Greater New York for failing to protest “respectful” and “peacefully,” and for making threats of violence, several at the rally also appeared to indicate that they would meet violence with violence.
“We want peace. We said we want love in the street, not blood in the street. We are peaceful. But if you disrespect him or us, we will put you in pieces,” said Dr. Shango Blake, the President of Black Influencers-United.
Blake wasn’t the only speaker who let anger get the best of him. The fury over the second Black mayor receiving threats from members of his own community left Senator Leroy Comrie livid, so much so he had to stop himself from making his own threat.
“Get out of his way. If anybody is trying to get in his way and while he tries to deliver his message, if anybody’s gonna try to be disrespectful when he’s trying to build bridges, we will burn everything that — ” Comrie paused, calming himself. “You know, that’s the south side coming out,” Comrie said, before continuing, “Eric is commanding the respect of every part of the city by not running around, jumping up and down in the streets.”
Advocates supporting Adams announced that anyone who is against the mayor-elect is against those who voted for him and is disrespecting them as a whole. Davis specifically called out those who protested Adams outside of Borough Hall, where he found himself surrounded by hundreds of irate individuals calling for an end to the vaccine mandate and screaming for change.
“You are not getting in our mayor’s face and disrespecting him,” Davis said.
amNewYork Metro reached out to Black Lives Matter of Greater NY, and is awaiting a response.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.