Mayor Adams Continues To Lose And Abuse The Trust Of New Yorkers

January 21st, 2024

Press Release

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams released the following statement after Mayor Eric Adams' press conference today which amplified misinformation about Intro 549-A banning solitary confinement and Intro 586-A requiring basic police transparency. On Friday the mayor vetoed these bills, which passed with veto-proof majorities last month.

"I hope that the media will tell New Yorkers the truth about these bills because it’s clear we cannot trust the mayor to. Mayor Adams is threatening the long-term safety of our city every time he speaks about the imaginary legislation he opposes.

"Today’s press conference was a grotesque example of the mayor hiding behind the pain and fears of people he misinforms and manipulates. The weakness and shamelessness on display is astonishing.

"There was too much misinformation to address individually, but it’s infuriating to see the administration continue to deceive people about these bills and the reality on Rikers and in our streets. In particular, to defend the status quo on Rikers the day after another detainee died under the oversight of this administration, left without so much as a mattress to lay on, is disgusting. The Mayor is downplaying death on Rikers. And to attribute the real risks corrections officers face – including one whose arm as broken yesterday  – to a bill he just vetoed is absurd. 

"Whatever the administration wants to categorize a Level One Stop as – today, they breathtakingly asserted it is ‘not a stop,’ the NYPD Patrol Guide already requires logging of those interactions. Is the mayor suggesting officers are already violating the patrol guide?

"We can’t hear from Layleen Polanco, Brandon Rodriguez, or Kalief Browder about the need to ban solitary confinement on Rikers, because it took their lives. We can’t hear from Allan Feliz, Delrawn Small, or Eric Garner about the need for accountability and transparency in policing stops. So it’s up to those of us invested in public safety, not political protection, to speak up, call out the misinformation propping up unjust systems, and change those systems."

Excerpts refuting the mayor’s misinformation:

From the How Many Stops Act:

“The term “investigative encounter” means an interaction between a member of the department and a member of the public for a law enforcement or investigative purpose. The term does not include a casual conversation or interaction between a member of the department and a member of the public unless such conversation or interaction is based on or, in the course of such conversation or interaction, an officer develops: an objective credible reason to approach; a founded suspicion that such member of the public has engaged in or will engage in criminal activity; a reasonable suspicion that such member of the public has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime; or a reasonable cause to believe that an offense is being or has been committed.

From the Solitary Confinement ban:

“Use of restraints. 1. The department shall not place an incarcerated person in restraints unless an individualized determination is made that restraints are necessary to prevent an imminent risk of self-injury or injury to other persons. In such instances, only the least restrictive form of restraints may be used and may be used no longer than is necessary to abate such imminent harm. Restraints shall not be used on an incarcerated person under the age of 22 except in the following circumstances: (i) during transportation in and out of a facility, provided that during transportation no person shall be secured to an immovable object; and (ii) during escorted movement within a facility to and from out-of-cell activities where an individualized determination is made that restraints are necessary to prevent an immediate risk of self-injury or injury to other persons."

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