NYC mayoral candidates diverge on NYPD defunding after Times Square shooting

New York Elections

NEW YORK — The weekend shooting of three innocent bystanders in Times Square pushed the issues of crime and gun violence into the center of the race for New York City mayor.

Shooting incidents in April of 2021 increased 166% from last April, which was the height of the pandemic, according to the NYPD.

In responding to the Times Square shooting, three moderate candidates — Eric Adams, Andrew Yang and Ray McGuire —- all expressed support for the NYPD and said they do not support defunding the department.  

“Nothing works in our city without public safety,” Yang notes in Times Square on Sunday.

McGuire agreed that NYPD should not be defunded.

“Your grandma Mamie’s got something going down in her home, who she’s going to call, defund?” he said.

As a former NYPD Captain, Adams called for a comprehensive plan to bring crime down.

“Federal, state and city coming together looking at gang members, gun usage and having a special prosecutor,” he said.

Adams has also called for the return of an undercover anti-crime unit that was disbanded last year after New Yorkers marched, calling for police reform.  

The more progressive candidates in the race — Shaun Donovan, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley and Dianne Morales — all believe the NYPD’s budget should be defunded. 

Also part of the push for City Hall, Monday Congresswoman Grace Meng endorsed Andrew Yang for mayor. Meng has become a leading national voice, speaking out against Asian hate crimes. 

“Solidarity and forming coalitions is more important than ever,” Meng told reporters during an endorsement event. “We have seen Andrew do this, not just in New York City but literally across the country.”

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