New York City Mayor elect Eric Adams reiterated his support for "stop-and-frisk" in a Sunday op-ed piece responding to the Thanksgiving Eve shooting that left two officers injured.
Adams will become the city's second Black mayor. He praised the "professional conduct” of NYPD officers Alejandra Jacquez and Robert Holmes during their last week's handling of Charlie Vasquez, the Bronx suspect. According to the NYPD, Adams believes the officers handled the situation well. They approached the suspect who matched the description of a 911 caller and asked him to show his hand.
But Vasquez open fired. Jacobs was shot in the arm and Jacobs responded fire. "The threat was defeated." Another gun was removed from the street. Another blow to the bad guys,," Adams wrote in an op-ed for the New York Daily News. "Yet there are some in our city who would say these officers should never have confronted Vasquez, that he never should have been stopped and questioned."
Adams rejected the calls of his opponents to "end stop & frisk forever," but he made the distinction in the opinion-ed that "stop, query and frisk" can help reduce crime "without infringing upon personal liberties or human rights."
Adams stated that stop, question, and frisk, as American courts have repeatedly affirmed, is a perfectly legal and appropriate constitutional tool when used intelligently. This is in contrast to using it indiscriminately against hundreds and thousands of young Black and Brown men as it was for many years in New York City. "Not only is it necessary, but it's also a tool that police can use to approach anyone who matches a witness description, or appears to be in possession of an illegal weapon."
He said, "The question wasn't whether stop, question or frisk should allowed; it was about how it should be done." The argument that it should be banned completely reduced a complex issue to an either/or argument and gave rise to a blanket ban.
Adams said that he visited the hospital officers on Thursday and called for an end "fighting from extremes about public safety". He also promised to make solving the problem his "number one priority" during January. Adams also addressed the arguments regarding stop, question, and frisk and defunding police and bail reform.
He said, "The question shouldn't be whether police can confront suspects. It should be about how they train them." "The question shouldn't be about whether police are available; it should be about how they use them." It should not be a question of whether judges should be able to protect New Yorkers against violent offenders. It should be about how we allow them to do so.
Following the shooting, Dermot Shea, NYPD Police Commissioner, and Pat Lynch, President of a police union, made remarks about the lack fear among street criminals despite all efforts to eliminate illegal guns. Vasquez was also injured in the shooting and was charged with attempted murder as well as other weapons offenses.