Mayor Eric Adams Cites Killing Of Woman In Chinatown In Plea To Albany Lawmakers To Tweak Bail Reform Laws
ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Eric Adams made his first trip to Albany on Monday as mayor and pushed for bail reform, citing the most recent crime, the murder of a 35-year-old woman of Asian descent.
CBS2's Marcia Kramer was in the state capital as the mayor tried to use his experience as a state senator to win support for his initiatives.
You had to be fleet of foot to keep up with Adams as he raced around the capital to meet with the lawmakers he needs to approve many of his asks. He wants both money and changes to the criminal justice laws. But top of mind was the incident in Chinatown.
"It's horrific. It angered me, as well as all New Yorkers," Adams said.
Watch: Mayor Eric Adams Speaks In Albany
Since Adams was in Albany, in part to seek tweaks to the bail reform laws, Kramer asked him if Assamad Nash, the man arrested in the Chinatown case, was the poster child for bail reform. He had three open cases, including assault and possession of stolen property.
"He's a poster person for a failing system that create crises with a downstream mindset. We need to really examine what happened here," Adams said. "He should have not been on the streets."
When Kramer asked Adams about getting the Legislature to support bail reform, he equivocated.
"I am optimistic of the energy that we are going to bring together to make sure we stop the feeders of crime and make sure our city is safe," Adams said.
But when Kramer asked Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie about bail reform, he said it was open to discussions but is afraid that every horrible crime, like the Chinatown stabbing, will be used to push an agenda the Legislature might not be able to support.
"I don't want to get into this back and forth. Unfortunately, you're trying to say if we hadn't done this. What happened to that woman was a horrible, horrible tragedy," Heastie said. "Everything that people find is frustrating to them about what's going on, it's just so easy to blame bail reform. And I don't think that does any of us a good service if we're really trying to get to the solutions."
Adams met together with Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to solve the city's issues, but he said whether he gets bail reform changes or not, he still has to keep the city safe.
"I still have the obligation to keep the city safe. That's why we are putting in place our Anti-Gun Unit," Adams said. "I can't turn around and say, well, I didn't get help from different places so now my city isn't safe. Nope. I'm not accepting that. We're going to have a safe city."
The mayor is an old Albany hand. He was a state senator for eight years. But when asked if he would get everything he wants from the Legislature, he resorted to an Adams-ism. He said even if you learn how to ride a bike, you have to remember how to balance.
The mayor also wants Albany to increase the income tax credit and the number of psychiatric beds for mental health patients.
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