In just his first few hours as mayor, Eric Adams had to confront New York City’s spiraling crime problem head-on as he called police about an assault in progress.
Footage posted to social media on Saturday showed Adams calling 911 as he passed through the Kosciuszko J stop in Brooklyn on his way to City Hall – and witnessed three men fighting on the street.
One of the men was seen punching another man down on the ground. Later, one of the suspects lifts a victim up and continues to punch him.
‘Yes, I’m at Broadway and Kosciuszko and I have an assault in progress,’ Adams told officers on the phone as reporters followed the newly sworn-in mayor around town on his first day in office.
‘No – assault in progress, not past assault,’ the mayor soon clarifies. ‘They are fighting each other on the street right now, three males.’
The fight ended and two of the men left by the time two police patrol cars arrived. Officers spoke to the remaining man but stayed in their car, and Adams told reporters he would have investigated more had he been the officer on the scene.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the NYPD for more information.
As he made his way to City Hall for the first time on Saturday, New York City’s new Mayor Eric Adams called 911 about three men brawling on the street
Adams was passing through the Kosciuszko J stop in Brooklyn when he spotted the men
They were seen in video tackling each other and punching one another in broad daylight
Adams said that if he had been the officer on duty he would have handled the situation differently after cops spoke to the two men remaining on the street but stayed in their car
Adams, 61, was sworn in as New York City’s new mayor just after the ball dropped in Times Square at midnight on New Years, amid a 10-year high murder rate.
As of Thursday, the city has recorded 481 murders which has been fueled by an increase in gun crime, according to city data.
The last time the city hit more than 500 murders was 2011, under then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, when homicides ended up totaling 515.
The rest of the decade had seen a sharp decrease in murders, going down to 419 in 2012 and heading as low as 292 in 2017 under now former Mayor Bill de Blasio.
But the numbers have climbed since, up to 462 in 2020 during the lockdown phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in the city, which also saw stores hit by looting, and riots in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
Those numbers have continued to go up this year, even as the city reopens, and are on pace to hit 10-year highs and the numbers continue to increase of late.
Between November 28 and December 26, homicides were double what they were in the same period last year, with 41 murders compared to 24 in 2020.
Overall, crime has risen 6.13 percent in New York City over 2020 through December 26.
The biggest rise came in felony assaults like the ones previously mentioned, which rose 9.6 percent from 2020.
Murders (4.1 percent), shooting victims (0.6 percent), rapes (3.3 percent), and robberies (4.7 percent) have also risen this year.
Murders have gone up in New York City each of the last three years, with numbers hitting a 10-year high in 2021
As a mayoral candidate, Adams has said he wants to see a return of the kind of community policing of the mid-20th century that saw officers posted to certain blocks to ‘rebuild trust.’
Adams, a 22-year NYPD veteran who ran his campaign on public safety, said he will target areas where confidence in the police is low and give officers promotions based on how they are rated by local residents.
‘The goal is to rebuild trust,’ Adams told the New York Daily News.
‘We can show people that these officers are human beings just like them. They have children. They have families. They have spouses. They want to go home safe, and they want you to go home safe.’
He said he remembered an officer who walked the working-class neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens, where he grew up.
‘He knew how to keep you out of trouble,’ said Adams, noting that cops who are out in the community learn better to understand the people they are dealing with.
‘I believe that that steady cop could differentiate between little Johnny just acting up,’ Adams told the paper, ‘and little Johnny carrying a gun.’
He has also advocated for a return of the controversial stop-and-frisk policy, claiming it ‘is a perfectly legal, appropriate and constitutional tool, when used smartly,’ and has vowed to bring back an anticrime unit after it was disbanded by Police Commissioner Dermot Shea last year.
When he got on the subway Saturday morning, Adams hugged commuter Pauline Munemya
Adams held his first cabinet meeting at City Hall on Saturday morning
Adams will also face a surge in new COVID cases amid the spread of the Omicron variant.
As of Friday, New York City was seeing a daily average 26.94 percent positivity rate, with 22,964 confirmed cases over the past week, 329 hospitalizations and 23 deaths.
The surge in cases has shut down some Broadway shows and left restaurants and bars crunched as workers tested positive for the virus. Several subway lines were also suspended because positive test results among transit workers left too few staffers to run regular trains.
Adams said this week that he plans to keep in place many of the policies of outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, including vaccine mandates that are among the strictest in the nation.
The city’s municipal workforce is required to be vaccinated, as is anyone trying to dine indoors, see a show, workout at a gym or attend a conference. But New York City has also newly required employees in the private sector to get their shots, the most sweeping mandate of any state or big city and a policy Adams said he will preserve.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that 94 percent of the city’s public workforce is vaccinated. Adams said 72 percent of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated.
In total, 72.3 percent of all New York City residents were fully vaccinated by Friday, with 9 percent partially vaccinated and 18.7 percent not yet vaccinated.
The new mayor is now considering whether to expand vaccine mandates and plans to distribute face masks and rapid tests, as well as introduce a color-coded system alerting New Yorkers to the current threat level.
Adams has said he is excited to show New Yorkers he is one of them
Adams spoke to New Yorkers on his way to work, as he vowed to keep kids in school amid a surge in COVID cases
Still, Adams said on Saturday he is prepared to meet the challenges ahead, outlining to reporters how he wants an analysis of the city employees out sick with COVID and ‘make sure we have a real plan in place for Monday for testing for analysis of the number of students that we believe will appear in school and just get that plan together for Monday because schools will be open.’
Adams arrived at City Hall at around 8.30am after taking the subway to work, and said he was excited to start the day.
‘I’m looking forward to showing New Yorkers that I’m one of them. I take the train, I’m going to put in long hours – no one in this city is going to outwork me, they trusted me.
‘As I move around this city, I’m seeing the energy from New Yorkers.
‘You know, there’s a new hope that I’m seeing that’s just amazing, there’s a feeling of “You know, Eric, we’re going to give you the support you need,” and you know, you saw the excitement that we now have someone who has gone through a lot, who is now going to help people who are going through a lot.’
Adams held his first cabinet meeting Saturday morning and planned to give a speech at noon.
On Saturday afternoon, he is scheduled to visit a police precinct in Queens where he was beaten by police officers as a teenager.