New York City Mayor Eric Adams held up the sneakers of a 12-year-old boy shot dead last week and promised his mother that the city would use every resource to find his killers.
‘Just think about this for a moment. What the family said while we spoke just really resonated with me – Whose child is next? Whose child is next? This could have been your [children’s] sneakers – My son’s. Whose child is next? This story just strikes at the heart of the trauma in our city and out country,’ Adams told reporters outside the grieving mom’s home in Brooklyn.
But the comments by the besieged city’s ‘wartime general’ seemed to ring hollow as violent crime has skyrocketed during Adams’ first three months in office.
There were 107 shootings in March, with 27 people having been shot in the last week of the month. That comes on top of a nearly 60 percent spike in crime in February compared to the same time last year.
The most recent tragedy involved Kade Lewin, who was fatally shot in the head and chest while inside a car with his 20-year-old cousin Jenna Ellis – who was also shot but is recovering – and another eight-year-old relative who was not injured.
Ellis had treated the children to Boston Market and pulled over on East 56th Street and Linden Boulevard in East Flatbush at around 7.45 pm Thursday before the tragic drive-by shooting took place.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams held up the sneakers of a 12-year-old boy shot dead last week and vowed that the city would use every resource to find his killers
On Monday, Kade’s anguished mother, Suzette Lewin, clutched a picture of her son, asking city officials for justice and begging the killers to come forward.
‘All I’m asking, please come forward,’ Suzette Lewis pleaded with the public on Monday. ‘Please, please, somebody say something. I’m asking for justice for Kade. Please. Please, I’m asking for justice, please.’
Adams apologized to Kade’s and Jenna’s families and pledged yet again to put an end to the overwhelming spike in violence in the city.
With a somber demeanor, Adams addressed the public in one of his well-known speeches, which are often criticized for being filled with promises to tackle crime that are not delivered.
‘When you understand the realness of this, you understand the urgency of this. And so when I move with the urgency and people are telling me to slow down; What the hell is wrong with you?’ he added.
Quite opposite to his remarks, desperate New Yorkers have pleaded with the mayor and city officials to be harsher on crime and get rid of lax bail reforms that allow criminals back on the streets to terrorize residents.
Adams had previously said that the Big Apple has become ‘a laughingstock’ in need of a ‘wartime general’ to tackle the rampant lawlessness.
On Monday, Kade Lewin’s grieving mother, Suzette Lewin, clutched a picture of her son, asking city officials for justice and begging the killers to come forward
Kade was fatally shot in the head and chest while inside a car with his 20-year-old cousin Jena Ellis, who was also shot but is recovering, and another eight-year-old relative who was not injured
New York City is reeling from a February crime wave that saw a nearly 60 percent spike in incidents since the same time last year. There were 107 shootings just in the past month and 27 people have been shot in the week to date
‘[It’s] overwhelming. We can replace the name of Kade with so many other names. Promising young people snatched away from us,’ Adams said on Monday.
Kade was pronounced dead at the scene after a shooter fired 11 bullets into the Toyota Corolla he was inside.
Jenna Ellis, who was sitting in the driver’s seat, was hit in the upper leg and right cheek.
She was rushed to Kings County Hospital where she is recovering. Jenna had recently gotten her license and was driving Lewin’s mother’s car. Lewin and Ellis were reportedly very close and saw each other frequently.
A younger female relative, eight, was sitting in the back seat and was uninjured. She said she was eating and looking at her phone when the violence began.
Investigators believe the family was not targeted. A source told the New York Daily News that the gunman was aiming for someone who drives a similar make and model car.
Immediately after the shooting, two black sedans were reported to have fled the scene at high speeds.
The NY Post reported a witness as saying: ‘I heard eight shots and I would say within 20 seconds of the shots, I saw a car on the corner facing East New York Avenue… and they almost got into an accident with oncoming traffic.’
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell also said she will use ‘every possible resource’ to find the shooter.
The mayor said he will personally contribute to helping with the family’s funeral costs and medical bills.
‘We’re so sorry. Those who took their lives will be found,’ Adams said.
‘We’re putting out a call to help this family during this time. The mounting cost of burying Kade. The medical costs of young Jenna that’s still in the hospital with six bullets.
‘I will personally contribute. We want contributions to go to lisadozierfuneralservice.com to raise money that’s needed. This family has been hit with this real crisis,’ he added.
‘Just think about this for a moment. What the family said while we spoke just really resonated with me – Whose child is next? Whose child is next? This could have been your [children’s] sneakers – My son’s,’ the mayor said on Monday
Kade was pronounced dead at the scene after a shooter fired 11 bullets into the Toyota Corolla he was inside
Investigators believe the family was not targeted. A source told the New York Daily News that the gunman was targeting someone who drives a similar make and model car
Kade’s cousin, Jenna Ellis, who was sitting in the driver’s seat, was hit in the upper leg and right cheek. She is recovering
Photographs of Kade Lewin during a press conference outside of his home in Brooklyn
Adams, a former cop, has pledged to reduce violence in the city with a crime-fighting plan that includes removing homeless people from the subways.
He has also faced backlash since he first hinted he’d bring back a similar version of the controversial plainclothes anti-gun unit.
More than 200 cops from the NYPD’s Neighborhood Safety Team have been sent to patrol 30 key areas where shootings have risen alarmingly.
Previous iterations of the unit were disbanded in 2020 by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio amid anger at policing sparked by the murder of George Floyd and concerns they accounted for a disproportionate number of shootings and complaints.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams visits the home of Kade Lewin
Adam has faced incessant backlash since he first hinted he’d bring back a similar version of the controversial plainclothes anti-gun unit. Above, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, Chief of Department Kenneth Corey and NYPD executives join Mayor Eric Adams as they brief the media regarding the rollout of the Neighborhood Safety Teams on March 16
Adams has also said he wants to see changes in bail reform laws and other criminal justice measures, claiming they will bring down crime rates in the city and reduce gun violence.
In February, Adams proposed his plan to revamp city bail laws that often allow suspects to roam the streets – sometimes within hours of an arrest.
‘Let’s remove the cash bail system, because one should not be able to get out of jail just because you can pay bail. Let’s take that away. Judges should look at the case in front of them and say, ‘This person has two gun arrests, and he’s continually saying to the people of the city that I don’t care about the safety of you,’ the mayor said.
‘That judge should have the right to make the discretion that this person just be held.’
However, Adams can’t do much to amend the current bail laws since they have to be changed by the state Legislature.
Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, who faces an election in November after taking over for her disgraced predecessor Andrew Cuomo, has received stiff resistance from progressive members in her party about changing the controversial bail laws.
Meanwhile, Hundreds of New York City prosecutors have left their jobs because of low pay and high workloads in recent years, putting more stress on an already overburdened justice system as crime continues to skyrocket in the Big Apple.
Assistant district attorneys are burned out because of two laws that took effect in January 2020, right as the pandemic was about to send crime soaring.
The laws require prosecutors to quickly share evidence with defense attorneys in order to ensure a speedy trial.
But the high volumes of paperwork – sometimes hundreds of pages per case – combined with a load of up to 100 cases at once and low starting pay have sent prosecutors fleeing for the private sector, the New York Times reports.
So far this year, 36 prosecutors in Brooklyn have quit, along with 44 in Manhattan, at least 28 in the Bronx and nine on Staten Island.
The low morale and dwindling workforce adds to the soft-on-crime approach of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who has vowed that armed robbery would be treated as a misdemeanor if the firearm didn’t ‘create a genuine risk of physical harm.’
Meanwhile, a 2020 law that ended cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies has returned more criminals to the street.
The law, meant to stop people from languishing in jails just because they can’t make bail, is now meeting pushback from high-level city officials, including Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Gov. Kathy Hochul.
According to Hochul’s plan, perpetrators of gun crimes, as well as subway and transit crimes, would become eligible to be detained and held for bail if the plan is enacted.
The laws would allow cops and judges to bypass Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who has been widely criticized for his soft-on-crime stance, which involves only applying cash bonds in the most serious cases.
Meanwhile, crime continues to go up in a trend that began during the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
On Friday, a 72-year-old tourist was tripped after she left a lunch with her daughters in Manhattan.
Cyndi Gradwell of Ocean City, Maryland, arrived in NYC with her two daughters on Friday.
Cyndi Gradwell, 72, of Ocean City, Maryland, was left with a black eye, a chipped tooth, and bruises after criminal Kelvin Winfield intentionally tripped her as she and her daughters walked down Ninth Avenue in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen district
Her daughters gifted her a trip to New York City as a Christmas present and the ladies were walking down the street with their suitcases after enjoying a nice lunch together when Winfield started yelling at Gradwell’s daughters before cutting her off and tripping her
As the trio was walking down Ninth Avenue between 35th and 36th streets in Hell’s Kitchen with their suitcases after enjoying a nice lunch, Kelvin Winfield started yelling at Gradwell’s daughters.
Surveillance footage, obtained by the New York Post, shows Gradwell trying to move to go around him when he sticks his foot out and trips her, causing her to fall flat on her face, hitting her teeth.
Gradwell suffered a black eye and bruises, and said she had several of her teeth ‘knocked [loose],’ causing her to only to be able to eat mashed potatoes, eggs, and ‘spaghetti strands one at a time.’
Another tourist was shot multiple times in the leg and groin on March 18.
French-born Pierrick Jamaux, who is visiting from Hong Kong , was getting out of an Uber with his Australian model wife, Sarah Watts, 26, and another person at their hotel in Midtown when a man approached them and demanded Jamaux hand over his Richard Mille watch, the New York Post reported.
Jamaux, 33, is a French-born cryptocurrency expert visiting from Hong Kong with his wife, Watts, an Australian born model
Pierrick Jamaux, 33, (pictured inside the ambulance) was shot multiple times in the legs and groin during an attempted robbery outside his hotel in NYC
The attacked occurred on March 18 as the couple and another woman got out of an Uber outside the Fifty Hotel and Suites in Manhattan
Jamaux told police the man then opened fire before he could react, striking his legs and groin and causing him to fall to the ground as the man tried to rob him.
Police said the other person with the couple, a 25-year-old woman, jumped on the gunman’s back to try and stop him before the shooter pushed her off and fled.
New York Police Department officials said five shell casing were recovered from the scene and that Jamaux had multiple entry and exit wounds on both legs. He was taken to the nearby Bellevue Hospital where he was reported in stable condition.