President Biden will travel to New York City next Thursday to meet with newly-elected-Mayor Eric Adams where both will discuss combating gun violence in the Big Apple following the ambush killing of two NYPD officers in Harlem and violent crime surge.
Biden will discuss with Adams “the Administration’s comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime, which includes historic levels of funding for cities and states to put more cops on the beat and invest in community violence prevention and intervention programs, as well as stepped-up federal law enforcement efforts against illegal gun traffickers,” the White House said in a statement Wednesday announcing the upcoming Feb. 3 meeting.
Adams said he was pleased by the upcoming visit from the president.
“I look forward to welcoming President Biden to New York City next week and sitting down to discuss how we can work collaboratively to end the scourge of gun violence we are seeing on New York City streets,” Adams said in a statement in anticipation of Biden’s visit. “Public safety is my administration’s highest priority, and we welcome the opportunity to display to President Biden how federal and local governments can coordinate and support each other in this fight to keep New Yorkers safe.”
The planned summit between the president and NYC mayor comes as Adams, a moderate Democrat who campaigned on a “tough-on-crime” stance to restore public safety, is struggling to deliver on his promise. Adams, a former NYPD captain who took office on Jan. 1, has been responding to a deteriorated “Gotham City,” plagued by multiple violent episodes across the five boroughs that have rattled New Yorkers.
Last Friday, two NYPD officers were ambushed while responding to a domestic disturbance call in Harlem, New York. Rookie officer Jason Rivera was fatally shot and killed on the scene. Rivera’s partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, was gravely wounded after being shot in the brain by the perp and was taken off life support Tuesday after undergoing two brain surgeries.
At an emotional press conference surrounded by a sea of blue at Harlem Hospital where Mora was clinging for his life, Adams implored on Washington to help curb illegal guns from flowing into the city.
“There are no gun manufacturers in New York City. We don’t make guns here,” Adams said. “How are we removing thousands of guns off the street, and they still find a way into New York City? In the hands of people that are killers, constantly carving highways of death, destroying our communities.”
“We need Washington to join us and act now to stop the flow of guns in New York City and cities like New York,” Adams added. “It is our city against the killers.”
Five NYPD officers have been shot this year alone as crime continues to rampage the Big Apple. According to NYPD statistics, shooting in New York City is so far up by 24 percent this year compared to the same period last year and double that compared to 2020 before the pandemic hit.
Earlier this week, Adams unveiled “Blueprint to End Gun Violence,” his new administration’s first major policy address to crack down on illegal guns, while displaying photos of the murder weapon that killed the two NYPD officers. The illegal weapon used to kill the two officers was a Glock .45 with a high-capacity magazine, capable of holding 40 extra rounds, and is reported to have had been stolen in Baltimore in 2017.
The former NYPD captain vowed to “get the guns” out of criminals’ hands by bringing back the pro-active NYPD plainclothes unit dismantled in 2020 driven by the “Defund The Police” sentiment. Adams also called for more restrictive bail laws and the ability to charge teenagers as adults in some gun cases.
However, Adams is being constrained from members of his own party to deliver normalcy to the city. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) is backing liberal state Democrats who are reluctant to roll back bail reforms in response to Adams’ push. The Mayor is also dealing with a progressive Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, who made sweeping changes by unleashing a set of progressive “do-not-prosecute” directives.
Biden spoke with Adams by telephone Monday night to offer condolences to the two NYPD officers and his commitment to being a strong federal partner for New York City struggling with increased gun crime during the past two years.
The president offered his condolences after the shooting of the two officers last week.
“We’re keeping them and their families in our prayers. Officers put on the badge and head into harm’s way every day. We’re grateful to them and their families for their extraordinary sacrifice,” Biden tweeted.
Adams previously met with Biden to discuss gun violence at the White House last summer after defeating two Progressive to win the mayoral Democratic primary.