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New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ own sister dialed 911 to report witnessing suspicious activity indicating a potential shooting near a ferry in the Big Apple, prompting swift police response.
Adams, a Democrat who took office at the start of the year after campaigning on a public safety platform, answered a question about the incident at a pre-scheduled press conference Monday.
“Here’s what happened yesterday. A family member was at the ferry, and we were going to pick her up. I was en route to pick her up. And while she was waiting, three men walked in with hoodies on, and yesterday was very hot, and they had hoodies on,” Adams said. “And she overheard one of them state something to the tune of, ‘Don’t shoot until you get inside’.”
“She called me. I said, ‘Immediately call 911,’ and I got on the phone and called 911 to make sure they got the call,” the mayor continued. “When we got to the ferry, my security team and I went to the boats and said, ‘Don’t let the boats move out.’ Police responded and did a canvas of the area. And now they’re going to continue the investigation.”
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The mayor made no indication that shots were fired or that anyone was hurt in the incident.
“I want to thank my family members because they listened. See something, say something, do something. Nothing would have been worse if someone would have gotten on that boat and something would’ve happened to innocent people,” Adams said. “That’s what we encourage New Yorkers to do.”
At the same press conference, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig outlined how “out of control gun violence” seen in previous years has begun to decline in the past seven to eight weeks.
Essig pointed to the Gun Violence Suppression Division, a group of 200 investigators carrying out gang takedowns targeting shooters and the drivers of violence in the city. The unit carries out the three main strategies of gun trafficking, real problem gun investigation, enhanced prosecution, Adams said.
Jason Savino, Commanding Officer of the Gun Violence Suppression Division, said many of the individuals arrested in these takedowns have three, four and sometimes five prior arrests for illegal gun possession or other charges, something Adams said indicates a serious issue with the criminal justice system in keeping repeat offenders off the streets. Savino said guns seized are often stolen.
“No one takes criminal justice seriously anymore,” Adams told reporters. “These bad guys no longer take them seriously. They believe our criminal justice system is a laughingstock of our entire country. We have to get serious about this because innocent people are dying.”
The mayor in January brought back a reinvented version of the plainclothes anti-gun unit disbanded by his predecessor former Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2020 at the height of the defund police movement. Adams said what are now called “neighborhood safety teams” have taken 3,000 illegal guns of the streets.
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“If we zero in on those shooters and the individuals who are participating in the shootings, if we do the work to get it to the grand jury, to get that indictment, to make the arrest, then the other team must do their part,” Adams said. “The courts have to prosecute. Judges have to make sure they stay in. Everyone has to do their part. If not, they go out and come back.”
“People criticize us all the time, in spite of that, shootings are going down,” the mayor said. “Shootings are going down without violating the constitutional safeguards that we have in place. We’re decreasing shootings, we’re taking bad guys off the streets, and we’re going to create a safe city in the process.”