New York City Democratic Mayoral candidate Eric Adams on Sunday criticized Democrat lawmakers efforts to curb gun violence are “misplaced” talks in Congress to overhaul the nation’s policing laws continue to stall.
“I believe those priorities, they really were misplaced. And it’s almost insulting what we have witnessed over the last few years,” Adams told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” when asked about his party’s priorities. “Many of our Presidents, they saw these numbers. They knew that the inner cities, particularly where Black, brown and poor people lived, they knew they were dealing with this real crisis. And it took this President to state that it is time for us to stop ignoring what is happening in the south sides of Chicago, in the Brownsvilles, in the Atlantas of our country.”
CNN projected last week that Adams, the Brooklyn Borough president, will be the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York City. The retired captain of the New York Police Department, who throughout his campaign touted his experience as qualification to address the city’s spike in violent crime, told Tapper he supports ending qualified immunity, protections given to police officers in civil court, depending on the circumstance.
“I don’t believe a police officer who is carrying out his job within the manner which he was trained to do so should be open to a lawsuit. If he’s chasing an armed person who is discharging a weapon and that police officer discharges his weapon and an innocent person is struck by that, that weapon, we should not have that officer open to a lawsuit,” he explained. “But when you look at the case of a Floyd case where clearly the officer went beyond his scope of responsibility, that officer should be open to a lawsuit.”
He continued, “I don’t believe we should be suing officers who are doing their job and some of the hazards of their job, but those who step outside of those boundaries and recklessly carry out an act that causes life or serious injury, they should be open to being sued personally.”
Talks between congressional members on revamping policing laws are on the verge of a potential collapse amid division from law enforcement groups and as questions loom on whether a deal can be reached after blowing past two deadlines on legislation. The issue of ending qualified immunity remains a key sticking point among lawmakers.
On the issue of gun control, Adams also said it the focus should not only be on assault rifles, but also on handguns.
“The numbers of those who are killed by handguns are astronomical and if we don’t start having real federal legislation, matched with states and cities, we’re never going to get this crisis understand control,” he said.