"It's a great tool," he said.
Words you probably won't hear from anyone else seeking to replace Bill de Blasio, criticizing the issue that, more than anything else, propelled de Blasio to victory.
"Used it, used it often, great tool. We should never have removed stop-and-frisk," Adams said.
Adams, a former cop, appeared on CBSN New York's "The Point" with political reporter Marcia Kramer and waded into the troubling issue that is even today front and center in the presidential campaign.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized now for making it the signature policy of his anti-crime program.
"Today, I want you to know that I realize that back then, I was wrong and I'm sorry," he said.
Adams says that under Bloomberg it was used improperly.
"Let's use the tool correctly. I used it as a law enforcement officer, I supervised officers who used it, it's a great tool," Adams said.
In fact, you may not realize it, but stop-and-frisk is still being used to get guns off the street. NYPD stops increased 22% last year.
"When you walked down the street as a police officer and you saw somebody with a gun or a bulge in their pocket, what was your reaction?" Kramer asked.
"That's what the stop-and-frisk tools allowed you to do. It allowed you to speak to that person," Adams said. "And they had a bulge, you were able to touch that area, not search unless you felt and it escalated to another level."
The policy got out of hand, Adams said, when cops started arrested kids and making them empty their pockets, and if they found marijuana, charging them with illegal possession.
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