Discrimination? Presumptive New York City mayor vows to appoint female police chief to NYPD

The following article contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

NEW YORK CITY- There was a time when looking to fill a position, especially one as important as commissioner of the largest police force in the United States, the most important aspect would be their qualifications and ability to do the job.

Matters such as gender, skin color or any other demographic would be a secondary consideration.

Apparently, that is no longer the case. Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams (D), a former captain for the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has vowed to appoint a female police commissioner if elected to office, qualifications be damned.

To make it clear, if a woman is indeed the most qualified person for the position, she should absolutely be appointed, no question about it. But automatically disqualifying other candidates by virtue of their gender is doing a disservice not only to the members of the NYPD but for residents of New York City.

In May, Adams promised that if elected he would appoint a woman to NYPD’s top position during a mayoral forum with radio station WPIX.

“I have three people I have communicated with,” Adams said at the time. “What I’m looking for is a person that has a story to tell. I don’t want a person that does not understand what it means to have the power to take liberty from individuals and that’s what has happened far too often.”

So let’s get this straight. According to Adams, the only people who understand what is involved with having the power to deprive another person of their liberty through the process of arrest is a female? That makes zero sense and is frankly a hollow argument.

Adams continued:

“When I sat down and communicated with these potential commissioners, I wanted their stories, I wanted their narratives—who are you as a person,” he said.

“We’re so busy looking for people who are academically smart, I’m looking for people who are emotionally intelligent and that’s what I’m going to be looking for as commissioner,” the New York Post reported at the time.

Sources said that NYPD’s first female chief of patrol, Juanita Holmes is currently the frontrunner.

“She can navigate the politics, but she also knows what it means to be a cop trying to police in this environment,” a law enforcement source told the Post.

That environment of course includes activists and leaders who are desperately trying to empower criminals by defunding the police despite New York’s exploding crime rate.

Though Adams specifically has refused to name names, his description of his ideal candidate seemed to describe Holmes.

She has 16 immediate family members who are employed by the NYPD, and she became the department’s first borough commander back in 2016. She is currently the highest-ranking black woman on the force. So she would seem to check two seemingly “important” boxes—black and female.

Holmes, who was promoted to chief of patrol last year by Mayor Bill de Blasio, was tasked with restoring “trust and faith in our community and our police department.”

Holmes, whom the Post said is apparently close to de Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray replaced Fausto Pichardo, who abruptly resigned due to what police sources said was micro-managing from de Blasio.

Holmes had retired in 2018 to take a job in the private sector as Global Head of Corporate Security at BNY Melon, however rejoined the NYPD a year later.

When speaking to his potential picks, Adams refused to identify them or whether they were currently employed by the NYPD, citing their current status.

“They’re employed right now and it’s unfair as a person that’s employed, you’re potentially losing their jobs, that’s not fair,” he said.

This week, Adams once again promised to hire a female police commissioner in an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

 

“My commissioner in New York City, if I’m mayor, No. 1 it’s going to be a woman because it’s time to break that glass ceiling,” Adams said in a clear case of virtue signaling, qualifications be damned.

“I’ve made it clear that my police commissioner is going to be a woman,” Adams also told Bloomberg TV.

“We’re going to finally bring the entire city, the largest police department in the country, into the 21st century of woman leadership in law enforcement.”

Adams of course has to win the general election this fall in order to be able to follow through on his promise, however being an overwhelmingly Democrat city, the chances of Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa prevailing is somewhat slim.

Besides Holmes, other potential candidates are Chief Kim Royster of the Transportation Bureau, Chief Judith Harrison of Brooklyn North, and Chief Donna Jones, all black females NYPD sources say.

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For more on Adams’ opponent in this fall’s mayoral election in New York, Curtis Sliwa, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK, NY- On Thursday, July 1st, during a news conference outside One Police Plaza, Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa called Mayor Bill de Blasio a “police hater” for refusing to hire more officers within the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, condemned de Blasio’s refusal to use the $6 billion in American Rescue Plan funds the city received to bolster the NYPD, as President Joe Biden suggested cities should do.

The New York Post reported that Mayor de Blasio claimed President Biden was referring to “other cities” and not New York City. During a press conference at City Hall, de Blasio said:

“He specified that to certain cities that were dealing with challenges that are greater than ours.”

He added:

“What we did here was strike a balance. We had a lot of different needs to make sure we could bring the city back. We had to think about jobs, we had to think about bringing back schools.”

de Blasio explained that the city would continue to make investments in community-based solutions to improve public safety and keep “NYPD at a strong level.” However, a White House source told the Post that de Blasio was “incorrect.” The source said:

“Cities like New York that are experiencing a spike in gun violence as a result of the pandemic are eligible to use the money to hire additional police officers above a pre-pandemic baseline level to help address that.”

During his news conference, Sliwa also poked numerous holes in de Blasio’s logic.

He blasted the new $98.7 billion city budget, which added $200 million to the NYPD budget for overtime and IT, but not a nickel for additional cops as $1 billion was slashed in 2020 amid calls to “defund the police.” Sliwa said:

“You now have almost a billion-dollar budget, more than most countries, and you still won’t refund the police! Which means you’re a police hater! There is no doubt about it.”

He added:

“The reality is we need more police. We need to hire more police. We need to take the handcuffs off the police and put it on the criminals.”

Sliwa founded the Guardian Angels safety patrol in 1979 when crime in New York City was at its worst. The red-hatted volunteer community safety patrols reportedly operate in 130 cities in 13 countries. 

Even though President Biden recently said that cities could and should use federal COVID-19 relief funds to hire more police, de Blasio said that the city was taking a different track amid a surge in gun violence, including a recent incident that wounded a tourist in broad daylight in Times Square. de Blasio said:

“We took the stimulus funds, we focused them on ways to create growth in our economy, to create jobs, to create a lot more city revenue that will sustain our future. That’s our focus.”

de Blasio described the additional $200 million as “police reform money.” He said that a “big piece” would pay for IT, but confirmed that the bulk, $166 million, would be used for police overtime. He said:

“We worked together on OT. We reduced overtime a lot. We put in a number that we now believe is the realistic overtime number.”

On Friday, July 2nd, de Blasio doubled down on his decision to not hire more NYPD cops by saying:

“Right now we have a police force of 35,000. I think that’s the right number. We need to take those officers and continue to apply a neighborhood policing approach, re-bond police and community.”

The Post reported that in 2020, New York City’s murder rate soared 44 percent. Shootings were up 97 percent, burglaries were up 42 percent and car thefts increased 67 percent.

As of late May, New York City had 17.4 percent more murders, 73 percent more shootings and 24.9 percent more car thefts that at the same time in May 2020.

The continued surge in violent crime comes amid increased scrutiny of de Blasio and his so-far-unfilled promises that his public safety efforts will “pay off.”

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Watch: Man narrowly escapes assassination attempt in police-defunded New York City

June 20th, 2021

BROOKLYN, NY- On Thursday morning, June 17th, men in two vehicles attempted to carry out what appears to be a coordinated assassination attempt on the streets of Brooklyn.

Fox5 reported that the incident played out almost like a scene from a movie. Authorities from the New York Police Department (NYPD) said that around 7:15 a.m., a 19-year-old man was inside of his vehicle in front of 21 Granite Street.

Officers said that a car attempted to block him and that the victim, sensing danger, attempted to flee the area by driving up onto the sidewalk. His attempt was unsuccessful as he crashed the car a short time later.

A second vehicle drove up and started shooting at him while he was still inside of the crashed car.

The shots missed and the 19-year-old was not seriously injured. Police released a video of the incident in hopes that someone might be able to identify the men involved in the incident. 

In a separate incident on the same day, June 17th, a disturbing video was released by the NYPD showing a man being shot multiple times as a girl attempts to shield a young child on the ground next to the victim. 

The shooting took place around 6:45 p.m. on Sheridan Avenue in the Claremont neighborhood in the Bronx. The video shows the 24-year-old victim running and then tripping over the two children.

The gunman runs up and starts shooting, hitting the man in the back. The victim attempts to climb off of the children as the gunman rushes up and starts shooting him in the legs. NYPD said that the shooter jumped onto a scooter being driven by another man and then sped off from the scene.

The 24-year-old victim ended up at a nearby hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. He has since been listed in stable condition. It is unclear if either of the children suffered any injuries.

NYPD has released a video of the shooting in hopes that someone could identify the gunman or the man on the scooter. The first individual is described as a male with sunglasses who wore all black clothing. 

On Memorial Day, May 31st, a 15-year-old was killed and more than a dozen others shot, including at least one in every New York City borough. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said that there were nine shooting incidents, found of them in Brooklyn with a total of 15 victims. 

In one of the incidents, there was a shootout on a Bushwick street, leaving five people shot outside of a bodega. Authorities said it appeared to be a Trinitarios gang member shooting at a rival gang. 

The incident that turned deadly happened at 10:30 p.m. at 123rd and Lexington in East Harlem where the teen was shot in the torso and a 30-year-old man was shot in the knee. Both were taken to Harlem Hospital where the 15-year-old was pronounced dead. 

The rising tide of gun violence touched every borough in that span and it all comes as police have struggled for weeks to control violent assaults in the New York City transit system. Despite the continued violence, Mayor Bill de Blasio claims that he still believes the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will help reduce crime. He said:

“Recovery is going to help move public safety, public safety is going to help move recovery. I understand the fear, I really do. And there’s a persistent concern which I’ve learned now for decades in this city of are we going to go back to the bad old days and I really try my best to help people understand there are so many reasons why that is not going to happen.”

Noted Urban Studies Professor Mitchell Moss of NYU said that the mayor is mistaken. He said:

“The mayor has absolutely, absolutely got it reversed. Safety produces activity, activity is not going to produce safety, we have to make the place so safe people want to come and visit and enjoy it.”

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Author: Pat Droney

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