New York City Mayor Eric Adams says that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s overwhelming election loss is a “warning sign” for the rest of the nation as he maintains he is focusing on fighting crime in his city.
“I think it’s a warning sign for the country,” said Adams in an interview Sunday after he was asked if his Chicago counterpart and her ultra-progressive stance, the third-place loss was a warning sign for New York City.
Adams, a Democrat like Lightfoot, made public safety a lynchpin of his 2021 mayoral campaign. The former police officer said Sunday that he believes public safety is a “prerequisite to prosperity” for Chicago, New York City, and other major cities across the United States.
“We are focused on public safety because people want to be saved,” said Adams.
When pressed on whether or not his focus on crime has helped bolster a key Republican talking point that there is too much crime, in turn hurting Democrats, Adams answered, “I say, I listen to Americans and New Yorkers. The polls were clear: New Yorkers felt unsafe, and the numbers show that they were unsafe,” said Adams. “Now, if we want to ignore what the everyday public is stating, then that’s up to [others]. I’m on the subways; I walk the streets. I speak to everyday working-class people, and they were concerned about safety.”
Adams also said that despite recent decreases in homicides and shootings in the city, New York must focus on stopping recidivism.
“We have a recidivism problem in New York and far too many people; there’s about 2,000 people who are repeatedly catch, release, repeat in crimes,” said Adams. “If we don’t take them off our streets, they’re going to continue to prey on innocent people.”
Mayor Adams’ comments come days after the NYPD announced a 5.6% drop in major crimes last month compared to February 2022. There were double-digit percentage drops in burglary, grand larceny, shootings, and robberies. February also says ten fewer murders than last year. Auto grand larceny and felony assaults were up slightly from the previous year.
Mayor Adams was criticized for comments he made about faith, separation of church and state
Adams was also recently criticized for comments last week where he criticized the separation of church and state during a faith-based leader annual breakfast.
“Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state. State is the body. Church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body, the body dies,” said Adams at the event. The New York Mayor also said that when “we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools.”
Both of Adams’ remarks drew fire from some civil-liberty activists. When Adams was asked during an interview Sunday if he believed in the separation of church and state from the standpoint of governing, Adams responded, “No, what I believe is that you cannot separate your faith.”
“Government should not interfere with religion, and religion should not interfere with government. But, I believe my faith pushes me forward on how I govern and the things that I do.”
He further clarified his position when the interviewer pointed out the Constitution mandates the separation of church and state concerning governing. “Government should not interfered with religion; religion should not interfere with government,” repeated Adams. “That can’t happen, and it should never happen. But my faith is how I carry out the practices that I do and the policy, such as helping people who are homeless, such as making sure that we show compassion in what we do in our city.”
He continued, “Let’s be clear on something. The last words I said after I was sworn in was, ‘so help me God.’ On our dollar bill, we have, ‘In God we trust.’ Every president touched a religious book when they were sworn in, except for three. Faith is who I am, and anyone who takes those words are stating that I’m going to try to compel people to follow my religion. No, I’m a child of God.”