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Mayor-Elect Eric Adams, Black Lives Matter At Odds Over Plan To Bring Back Plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit In 2022

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor-elect Eric Adams has vowed to keep a campaign promise to reinstate a plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit, despite threats from Black Lives Matter members of riots and bloodshed on city streets.

Adams was cool, calm and collected in addressing threats from the activists, pointing out that having been a transit cop in the 1980s with radios that didn't work and a sky-high murder rate, he doesn't intimidate easily, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported.

"There are very few things that frighten and scare me and New Yorkers are not going to live in fear and we're not going to be intimidated by anyone," Adams said Thursday.

That tough talk from Adams came after activists left a meeting with him at Brooklyn Borough Hall, threatening to take to the streets if he reactivates the plainclothes unit to make the city safe again.

"New Yorkers should not allow rhetoric like that. This city is not going to be a city of riots. This city is not going to be a city of burning. This is going to be a city where we're going to be safe. We're going to have effective policing that's not heavy-handed," Adams said.

Hawk Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, told Kramer that the group's opposition to the unit is based on the fact that plainclothes officers were responsible for the deaths of people like Eric Garner, Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell.

"He's completely ignoring our advice and the problem is it's going to lead to police brutality and police killings and that will subsequently lead to riots and outrage and buildings on fire," Newsome said.

"If fringe elements want to hurl rhetoric like that. That is silly to New Yorkers. This city is ready to move forward," Adams said.

Newsome said instead of more cops, Adams needs to knock down the blue wall of silence, hold cops accountable for their actions, and create jobs and opportunity in minority communities.

Adams said he agrees with that, but he's still going to bring back a new unit to go after guns and gangs.

"I'm not backing away from that. The plainclothes Anti-Gun Unit is going to zero in on guns and gangs. They're going to wear their body cameras. They're going to have their body cameras on on every interaction. We're going to use precision policing to identify the gang members, the crews. We're going to target them," Adams said.

Newsome, however, said he is not buying in.

"He calls us a fringe group, but we have six people from our Black Lives Caucus that we endorsed that are going to be in the City Council that are going to make his life a living hell, will make his life a nightmare," Newsome said.

Adams said he's also going to change the way the NYPD handles protests and riots. He's going to create a special unit trained to deal with protests with conflict resolution.

On another note, he expects his first appointments will be a police commissioner and a schools chancellor.


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