Mayor Eric Adams Lies About Impacts of Modest Reforms, Calls for Racist So-Called “Dangerousness” Standard Despite Data

Mayor Adams falsely claimed that people on their ninth arrest and those accused of shootings and other violent felony offenses are not having bail set because of modest pre-trial reforms.

Fact Check: False, Fearmongering, Misleading

The Briefing

During a press conference with the NYPD, Mayor Eric Adams falsely claimed that people on their ninth arrest and those accused of shootings and other violent felony offenses are not having bail set because of modest pre-trial reforms that—in truth—have had no impact on these types of cases. Moreover, data shows that people accused of these offenses in New York already overwhelmingly do have bail set. He also used his platform to once again call for New York’s novel implementation of the so-called “dangerousness” standard, which, as evidenced by clear data from jurisdictions that allow this bail consideration, exacerbates the racist impacts of existing practices and fails to improve public safety. These so-called solutions simply do nothing to improve public safety.

Paradoxically, Mayor Adams credited the NYPD with New York City’s reduced year-to-date homicides while fearmongering about public safety. He also used dehumanizing language to discuss his own constituents, particularly young Black and brown people and those accused of carrying firearms—using phrases like “snakes” and “alphas” in lieu of “superpredator” to refer to teens while calling for their indefinite and summary imprisonment. 

Adams specifically scoffed at the suggestion that those accused of carrying guns have their own legitimate fears about gun violence, intentionally avoiding the clear data around this issue and flattening the lived experiences of the constituents he seeks to scapegoat. As reported by the Center for Court Innovation in a 2020 study of young New York City residents, 88% of those surveyed knew a family member or friend who had been shot, 81% had been shot or shot at themselves, 70% had witnessed another person being shot, and 67% had been attacked with other weapons. In a statement, grassroots advocacy group The GANGS Coalition said, “Black and brown teenagers do not need further surveillance, criminalization and marginalization at the hands of our Mayor, but rather access to safe and affordable housing, quality schools and health care systems, meaningful employment, and a continued investment in their safety.”

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