Many Democrats attempt to walk fine line on police reform in mayoral race

New York Elections

NEW YORK — It was a careful balancing act for many of the Democratic mayoral candidates Tuesday.

Most are trying to lean into calls for police reform and react to a recent rise in shootings.

Endorsing Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for Mayor outside City Hall, Abner Louima has been a voice for police reform since his 1997 beating and sexual assault at the hands of the NYPD.

“I know Eric Adams and the work he’s been doing,” Louima said. “That’s why I endorse him.”

It’s a boost for Adams, a retired NYPD Captain and longtime lawmaker, who has tried to find a middle-ground on police reform — as others in the race call for defunding the NYPD.

“You can’t have justice without safety and safety without justice,” Adams said.  “That puts me in a unique position, not many people are going to say that.”

In Chinatown, Andrew Yang, was rolling out endorsements of his own, including several Asian American community groups. Yang was focused Tuesday on helping communities like this one recover from the pandemic.

“The relief that so many small business owners have received have not necessarily reached the business owners in this community,” Yang said.

Yang has also been careful to say the NYPD must balance reform and public safety, even suggesting not defunding, but increasing support to the anti-Asian Hate Crime Taskforce.

“In the context of the NYPD Budget it’s not a meaningful investment,” Yang said. “You can easily shift resources to that sort of task force.”

Elsewhere former Sanitation Commissioner Katheryn Garcia picked up the endorsement of retired general Lorre Sutton, who ran for Mayor for a short time herself.

Comptroller Scott Stringer continues to do TV interviews following the fallout from last weeks sexual misconduct allegation Jean Kim.  Stringer has lost several key endorsements, and Tuesday Kim’s attorney filed a formal complete with office of State Attorney General Letitia James.

Other candidates mixed in person and virtual events, including Ray McGuire, who stopped by the PIX11 MorningNnews.  He was pressed about how he would respond as mayor to the recent increase in shootings.

“I want better policing,” McGuire said. “I want the resources dedicated to address the gun violence, and address the anti-Asian hate crimes as well as the anti-Semitic crimes we‘re experiencing.”

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