BROOKLYN — After meeting with Mayor-elect Eric Adams on Wednesday evening, local Black Live Matter leaders vowed there would be “riots” and “bloodshed” if the NYPD’s controversial anti-crime units were reinstated.
During his campaign for mayor, Adams, a former NYPD captain, had spoken of bringing back a revised version of the plainclothes unit in an effort to curb ongoing gang and gun violence across the city.
The unit was disbanded in June 2020 by NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea amid a wave of protests across the city, and country, calling for action regarding policing and police brutality. The unrest was sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of officers in Minneapolis.
“If they think that they’re going to go back to the old ways of policing, then we are going to take to the streets again,” said Hawk Newsome, co-founder of BLM Greater New York. “There will be riots, there will be fire and there will be bloodshed, because we believe in defending our people,” he continued.
Newsome, along with sister Chivona Newsome and a group of activists initially gathered to rally outside Adam’s current offices at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Adams soon invited the small group inside to sit down and discuss the issues.
The closed-door meeting was streamed live on Instagram by BLM activist Alfred Martinez.
During the meeting, the group continuously asked the mayor-elect how he would hold the NYPD accountable once he’s in power.
Moments of the meeting were heated with both sides appearing to raise their voices while discussing policing and how to deal with crime in the city.
After the meeting, which you can watch in full above, the activists took their grievances public outside the building.
“There’s no way, that they’re gonna switch governments, and not have the people who brought about the most change in this country in the last 30 years, at the table,” Hawk Newsome said.
Newsome’s sister echoed his sentiments after the meeting.
“If he wants to see the city in an uprising, we can give him that. If he wants to end poverty, because that’s the real reason for gun violence, not the GOP talking points, we’re here for that, as well,” Chivona Newsome said.
Adams released a statement Thursday morning after the meeting made headlines:
“I marched with Black Lives Matter last year and with advocates for police reform for the last four decades—and I also proudly wore a uniform to protect New Yorkers. There is no reason we cannot have both safe streets and racial justice in our city. If Black lives truly matter, then we must address violence in our communities while we address bias in policing. Yelling and not listening gets us nowhere. As mayor I will listen to all New Yorkers — especially those who I disagree with — because it is the only way we will move forward.”Mayor-elect Eric Adams
Chivona Newsome spoke with the PIX11 Morning News on Friday in response to Adams’ comments after the meeting: