Adams, Sewell insist New York City subways are safe after shooting as mayor downplays crime rise

Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday tried to reassure the public that the subways are safe after last week’s killing spree – while arguing that other major cities have crime and Gotham isn’t nearly as dangerous as it used to be.

Adams and his police commander, Keechant Sewell, appeared on TV just five days after a maniac opened fire on a Brooklyn train, injuring 29 people, to promote the transit’s safety.

Their claims also came as NYPD statistics show that serious crimes in the city’s transit system have skyrocketed so far this year, while recent overall crime in the Big Apple continues to rise.

During a morning appearance on MSNBC, Adams called subway security “vital” while touting his previously announced initiatives to reduce underground crime.

“The transit system is the lifeblood of our city and we have put in place what I believe to be the fundamental parts of a real public safety apparatus,” the mayor said on The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart.

“Everything from using police correctly, to how we are dealing with the mental health crisis and homelessness in our system, to making sure officers are given specific information about what we expect of them,” he said. “The ubiquity that makes passengers see officers pursuing these violent criminals.”

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell holds a media briefing with Mayor Eric Adams, attending virtually, on April 12, 2022 in New York.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell appeared on television with Mayor Eric Adams to promote traffic safety.
Alex Tobacco

NYPD statistics show that so far this year, major crimes reported on the subway system are up 68%, robberies on the subway are up 72%, and assaults are up 28%.

Figures released earlier this month also showed a 37% increase in serious crime in March, part of a worrying trend.

But Adams seemed to downplay the troubling numbers by comparing them to those in other cities — and New York’s notorious bad old days of the ’80s and ’90s.

Follow the shooting on the Brooklyn subway.
The claims come five days after a maniac opened fire on a train in Brooklyn.
Paul Martinka

“I keep saying it: There are many rivers that feed this sea of ​​violence. You see this violence taking place across the country. It’s not a red state or blue state talk,” he said on MSNBC, referring to Republican- and Democrat-controlled states.

“Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana — these are the highest homicide rates in our entire country,” Adams added on ABC.

Police officers lead suspected subway shooter Frank R. James, 62, away from a police station and into a vehicle in New York, Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
Police officers lead suspected subway shooter Frank R. James into a vehicle on April 13, 2022.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

“I was in town when it got out of hand in the mid ’80s [and] Early ’90s,” he said, noting that the NYPD had seized 1,800 guns since he took office on Jan. 1.

“[New York City] is far from it,” Adams said on MSNBC.

“We’re not dealing with that at the moment. This city is far from spiraling out of control and we hope to bring crime under control and also address the pathways that lead to criminal behavior in our city.”

Meanwhile, the Big Apple’s top police officer promised the city’s subways will “be safe” with additional officers on the public transit system after accused gunman Frank James opened fire on a crowded N train during Tuesday morning’s stampede had opened.

New York City Police Department employees gather at the entrance of a subway station in the Brooklyn borough of New York, April 12, 2022.
Figures released earlier this month showed a 37 percent increase in serious crime in March.
AP Photo/John Minchillo, file

“The subways have to be safe, and they will be safe,” NYPD Commissioner Sewell told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week during a joint appearance with Adams.

“We’re bringing more officers into the subway system,” she said. “We recognize that people need to see a visible police presence on the subway and we strive to ensure that happens.”

In the hours after the subway carnage, Adams said the NYPD would “double” the number of officers patrolling the subway system.

The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in determining the whereabouts of the unidentified person seen in the attached videos and photos, who is wanted in connection with an assault occurring in transit within the 34th Precinct has occurred /TD #3.
In recent years, Frank James has become increasingly unhinged, posting several bizarre and racist rants on YouTube.
An undated photo shows a bag of firecrackers found at the scene of the Brooklyn subway shooting
A bag of firecrackers found at the scene of the Brooklyn subway shooting.
US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York/Handout via REUTERS

Adams also doubled down on Sunday for insisting social media companies should have flagged the messages James sent.

In recent years, James has become increasingly unhinged, posting several bizarre and racist tirades on YouTube, blaming Adams and others for his ailments. In response, the NYPD said it increases security for the mayor, who was isolating at the Gracie Mansion after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.

“I think social media needs to get stronger. There’s a corporate responsibility,” Adams said on ABC. “We can use our artificial intelligence to identify those who are talking about violence.” Adams, Sewell insist New York City subways are safe after shooting as mayor downplays crime rise


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