NEW YORK — Democratic Mayoral candidate Eric Adams stood with concerned families in Brooklyn Tuesday, expressing alarm over recent youth gun violence across the city.
They stood in the community where 16-year-old Cahlil Pennington was shot and killed last week.
Adams said he believes it’s time for a different strategy to combat illegal guns.
“We have to have an adequate, well trained, conflict resolution, plainclothes anti-gun unit that specifically zeroes in on gun violence,” Adams said. “Not the cowboys of the past where anyone is just going out stopping and frisking everyone in the community.”
Republican City Hall hopeful Curtis Sliwa said he believes gangs are driving the recent uptick in youth shootings. He’s also concerned about a change in state law — New York no longer charges 16- and 17-year-olds as adults for crimes.
Sliwa told PIX11 News, the new law gives underage teens the impression they can commit crimes without serious repercussions.
“It’s a juvie crime, even if you’re shooting at somebody, even if you shoot somebody, even if you’re caught with a loaded weapon or an unloaded weapon. You got to change that dynamic,” he said.
Eric Adams disagrees with Sliwa, telling PIX11, 16- and 17-year-olds should not be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
“Just incarcerate our children, that’s not going to solve the problems,” Adams said in Brooklyn Tuesday. “That’s a band-aid on the cancer, so we need to solve the underlying reason that crime is taking place in these communities, historically.”