Sliwa slams Adams for meeting with gang members as clock ticks down to NYC mayoral election

New York Elections

NEW YORK —The candidates running to become New York City’s mayor lobbed accusations at each other about palling around with gangsters and acting like children or clowns, but their second debate ended on a surprisingly tender note involving cats and veganism.

A week before the city picks a new mayor, Democrat Eric Adams and Republican Curtis Sliwa laid out their plans Tuesday for addressing rising violent crime in the city and how to chart a path out of the pandemic’s deadly wake.

It was the second meeting between Adams, the Brooklyn Borough president who is widely expected to win the election, and Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels anti-crime patrol.

Sliwa called out remarks Adams made about meeting with gang members.

“Sliwa was trying to grasp at anything that could make Adams look bad,” Jeff Coltin, senior reporter for City & State, said. “But if there’s one thing we know about Eric Adams, he will take a meeting with anybody.”

Adams made the comment about meeting with gang members during a radio interview. He said he talked with them about ending violence.

“I’m speaking to those who have committed crimes to get them out of gangs,” he said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio defended Adams.

“Look, he spent over 20 years of his life patrolling the streets of this city as an NYPD officer,” de Blasio said. “I think he knows a lot, obviously, about what’s smart to do and how we keep people safe. And I have a lot of faith in Eric’s ability to chart a good course in terms of public safety. And I respect his judgment. He’s worked at the grassroots. He knows how to talk to people and to move forward things at the neighborhood level. And I respect whatever he thinks is necessary to do to make that happen.”

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