Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

Eric Adams’ smart talk on guns and policing goes national

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A Bronx gang war took the lives of three black teens, the youngest just 13, right before Eric Adams visited the White House to discuss combating urban gun violence with President Joe Biden. We hope the Democratic mayoral nominee, who won by vowing to fight crime, had a chance to talk some quiet sense to the president.

Adams already has been clear in public that Biden’s chief new initiative, having the feds do more to help close the illegal-gun pipeline, won’t turn things around. He hasn’t embraced the president’s call on cities and states to use COVID-relief cash to hire more cops — but the current mayor is doing his best to spend it all first, anyway.

What we really wish is that Adams could get Biden to publicly admit the fact that a good chunk of the problem now comes down to misbegotten criminal-justice and policing “reforms.”

As a former NYPD captain, Adams knows that public safety and police reform are not mutually exclusive. He’s slammed the problems with New York’s “no-bail” law, and on CNN’s State of Union over the weekend he reiterated his support for qualified immunity, which shields cops from being sued personally for lawful actions taken when performing their duties.

Cops who recklessly disregard NYPD guidelines are another thing, but “I don’t believe a police officer who’s carrying out his job within the manner in which he was trained to do so should be open to a lawsuit.”

The city and the nation need police who aren’t afraid to be proactive. And they need laws that don’t force the courts to keep releasing teen gangbangers caught with guns until those kids turn up dead at each other’s hands.

Adams’ victory shows that Democratic voters want safe streets and police departments funded to get the job done. We expect he brought that message to the White House, and we look forward to him bringing it to Albany.

The days of teens gunning each other down on city streets need to end, and every politician standing in the way of solutions needs calling out.

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