NEW YORK - Eric Adams, the Democratic mayoral candidate, was at the White House on Monday afternoon for a meeting with President Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and other law enforcement officials.
Biden is trying to balance his strong backing for law enforcement with the police reform movement championed by many of his supporters. Though limited to what can be done at the federal level, Biden promised to support efforts on the ground to combat crime.
"We know when we utilize trusted community members and encourage more community policing, we can intervene before the violence erupts," the president said at the meeting. "The Justice Department creating five new strike forces to crack down on illegal gun trafficking in the corridors supplying weapons to cities of New York — from New York to the Bay area."
Adams, the borough president of Brooklyn, served 22 years on the NYPD and retired as a captain. He is heavily favored to win the general election in November.
"Other communities are waking up to alarm clocks, communities of Black, brown, and poor people are waking up to gunshots," Adams said outside the White House after the meeting. "And this president said, this is not the America we're going to live in, and that's why I'm here."
The strategy session followed another violent weekend in New York City that saw a 13-year-old gunned down in the Belmont section of the Bronx and a 19-year-old shot and killed in Saint Albans, Queens. Police say they haven’t made an arrest in either case.
Public safety will be a key focus for the next mayor.
Adams has said he would bring back the plainclothes anti-crime unit that was recently disbanded to help get guns off the streets.
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, the Republican nominee, has said he wants to hire 3,000 more police officers if he's elected. Sliwa told reporters that he was "tremendously disappointed" the White House didn't invite him to the meeting.
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