New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams reiterated support for “stop and frisk” in a new op-ed piece published Sunday reacting to last week’s Thanksgiving Eve shooting that wounded two police officers.
Adams, who will be the city’s second Black mayor, praised the “professional conduct” of NYPD officers Alejandra Jacobs and Robert Holmes in their handling of suspect Charlie Vasquez in the Bronx last week. Judging by the NYPD’s account, Adams said the officers handled the situation correctly – they approached the suspect matching a 911 caller’s description and asked him to show his hands.
But Vasquez open fired. Shot in the arm, Jacobs returned fire, and then, “the threat was neutralized. One more gun off the street. One more blow against the bad guys,” Adams wrote in an op-ed for the New York Daily News. “Yet there are some in our city who would say these officers should never have confronted Vasquez, that he never should have been stopped and questioned.”
Adams rejected his opponents’ calls to “end stop and frisk forever,” making the distinction in the op-ed that the tactic “stop, question and frisk” must be reinstated because it can actually help reduce crime “without infringing on personal liberties and human rights.”
“In fact, as American courts have affirmed over many years, stop, question and frisk is a perfectly legal, appropriate and constitutional tool, when used smartly, as opposed to indiscriminately against hundreds of thousands of young Black and Brown men, as it was for years in New York City,” Adams wrote. “Not only that, but it is a necessary tool, whereby police approach someone who fits a witness description or otherwise appears to be carrying an illegal weapon.”