Conflict of interest? New NYC mayor taps younger brother as a deputy police commissioner for $240k/year

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – Mayor Eric Adams on Friday named his younger brother as a deputy NYPD commissioner, a move that immediately raised eyebrows.

The mayor appointed Bernard Adams, a former NYPD sergeant, to the role on Friday, according to news reports and police sources. The role of deputy commissioner typically pays just under a quarter of a million dollars a year, at about $240,000.

On Sunday, Mayor Adams defended his decision. The mayor said his brother was “qualified” for the position and would be in charge of his personal security.

Conflict of interest? New NYC mayor taps younger brother as a deputy police commissioner for 0k/year 

The Mayor confirmed the reports during an interview with CNN Host Jake Tapper, who asked Adams:

“Is that true and if so, doesn’t that at least violate the spirit of the law in New York which says public servants’ friends and family members should not benefit from their positions?”

Adams answered said his decision will be reviewed by the City’s Conflict of Interest Board:

“Well, we have something here in the city called [the] Conflict of Interest Board. They do rulings and waivers, it’s going through that process now. They will make the determination and we have a great system here in the city.

“Let me be clear on this. My brother is qualified for the position, number one. He will be in charge of my security, which is extremely important to me in a time where we see an increase in white supremacy and hate crimes.”

The Mayor cited his brother’s history with the NYPD and said he needed someone he could trust close to him:

“My brother has a community affairs background, the balance that I need. He understands law enforcement. He was a 20-year retired veteran from the police department, and I need someone that I trust around me during these times for my security, and I trust my brother deeply.”

Bernard Adams, who is five years younger than the mayor, retired with the rank of sergeant after 20 years of service in 2006. The mayor, 61, retired from the NYPD as a captain.

Common Cause New York’s Executive Director Susan Lerner took issue with the Mayor appointing a family member to such a high position:

“It is unclear whether a waiver from the Conflict of Interest Board would be required for this appointment”

Common Cause New York is a government watchdog group. Lerner continued:

“New Yorkers expect that public servants are hired based on their unique qualifications and not because they are the mayor’s brother.

“The appointment of the mayor’s close relative does not inspire public confidence.”

Bernard Adams most recently served as the assistant director of operations for parking and transportation at Virginia Commonwealth University’s MCV campus (the university’s medical center), according to his LinkedIn profile. He had been in that position since July 2021, after working as a manager in the same department for more than 13 years.

The appointment of the Mayor’s brother is not the first appointment by the new Mayor to draw questions. The Mayor’s decision to appoint Former NYPD Chief of Department Phillip Banks as his deputy mayor drew criticism.

Banks was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal corruption probe and was forced to resign from the department in 2014 after accusations that he accepted bribes for favors.

The Mayor addressed concerns about Banks during the Tapper interview. He said that, although Banks made “real mistakes and errors” in the past, he never was “accused of a crime”:

“It really personifies why I need the best person for the job. I can’t leave bad people doing bad things to good people on the bench when I have a talented person that just made some bad calculations, bad decisions. He didn’t do anything that was criminal. Phil is a great person.

“Leaving that talent on the bench is the wrong thing to do. He’s the right person for this time to really bring together all of my law enforcement agencies and entities and he’s going to show New York this every day. He’s the right person for this job and I’m excited about having him on the team.”

Appointment of family members by New York City mayors is not uncommon. Michael Bloomberg onboarded his daughter, Emma, and sister, Marjorie Tavern, while mayor but they worked for free in lower posts.

Bill de Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray was active in his administration, such as her role heading the failed $1.3 billion mental health initiative ThriveNYC. However, she was acting as the city’s First Lady and could not collect a salary.

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BLM leader threatens ‘riots’ and ‘bloodshed’ if Mayor-elect Eric Adams reinstates NYPD anti-crime units

November 11, 2021

NEW YORK CITY, NY – Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Hawk Newsome threatened “riots” and “bloodshed” in the streets if Mayor-elect Eric Adams re-establishes NYPD’s plainclothes anti-crime unit to battle New York’s surge in violent crimes.

Newsome and Adams participated in a debate at Brooklyn Borough Hall Wednesday over the Mayor-elect’s plan to return to tougher policing in the city. The debate was livestreamed on Instagram.

During his campaign, Adams promised to bring back a “reinvented: version of the anti-crime unit, which was formerly used to focus on guns, violent crime, and drugs.

During the debate, the two sparred over policing in New York City, with Newsome telling the former NYPD captain that Black Lives Matter would hold him accountable for future police misconduct. Adams shot back:

“You’re on the ground. Stop the violence in my community. I’m holding you accountable. Don’t hold me accountable.

“Being the mayor, being the borough president, being the state senator — I put my body on the line for my community, so I’m not here for folks to come and say, ‘Eric, we’re gonna hold you accountable.’

‘No, it’s us. We need to do this together.’

Following the debate, Newsome spoke to the media about the Mayor’s plan to return to the anti-crime unit and other tougher policing policies:

“If they think they are going back to the old ways of policing, then we’re going to take to the streets again. There will be riots. There will be fire, and there will be bloodshed.”

Newsome quickly tried to qualify his shocking threat, saying:

“I am not threatening anyone. I am just saying that it’s a natural response to aggressive oppression – people will react.”

The anti-crime unit has a long history in New York spanning decades of combating violent crime. However, the unit has spawned some controversies over the years.

Once called the Street Crimes Unit, several high-profile fatal police encounters put a shadow over the important work being done to reduce crime and make the streets safe.

In 1999, four plainclothes Street Crime Unit officers fatally shot Amadou Diallo, an unarmed 22-year-old West African immigrant, outside his South Bronx home.

Facing intense criticism, in 2002, the NYPD “disbanded” the units and shifted many of those officers to another plainclothes squad already in place in some boroughs, the Anti-Crime Unit.

In 2014, Anti-Crime officer Daniel Pantaleo used a chokehold on Eric Garner during a fatal encounter on Staten Island. Garner reportedly repeated several times, “I can’t breathe.”

A Staten Island grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice both declined to bring criminal charges against Pantaleo. He was terminated from the NYPD after a department disciplinary trial led Judge Rosemarie Maldonado to recommend his termination.

“I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry for the anti-police movement and led to the national prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In June 2020, following weeks of protests and riots triggered by the killing of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the anti-crime unit was shut down.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said he personally made the decision to banish the units, which have been responsible for a “disproportionate” number of shootings and misconduct complaints made against the NYPD in their decades-long history.

He called it a “seismic shift” that will have an immediate effect:

“This is a policy shift coming from me, personally. I think it’s time to move forward and change how we police in this city. We can do it with brains. We can do it with guile. We can move away from brute force.”

Although not entirely attributable to the anti-crime unit shutdown, NYC has experienced a massive surge in crime this year. The overall crime rate in the Big Apple rose 11.2% in October compared to a year ago.

The number of robberies jumped 15.8% (1,450 v. 1,252) and felonious assaults increased by 13.8% (2,123 v. 1,865) year-over-year.

Grand Larceny and auto thefts also rose significantly in October compared to the same period last year. Auto thefts are up almost 15% for the year versus 2020.

Fox News reported that gun arrests have jumped 13.9% this year compared to 2020, and there were 382 gun arrests in the city in October.

Rather than continuing his call policing with “guile” and “brains,” Commissioner Shea recently called for policing that sends “a consequential message”:

“The men and women of the NYPD have never wavered in their commitment to the collective public safety of all New Yorkers – as demonstrated by this ongoing, downward trend in violence.

While their devotion to service is commendable, effective crime fighting is predicated upon a collaborative effort from all aspects of the criminal justice landscape – as well as society as a whole.

“Additionally, our brave officers’ work must be reinforced by meaningful consequences that send a consequential message to those who find themselves on the path toward criminality.”

 
Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. 

And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.
  

 

 

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