Adams, a retired New York Police Department captain who embraced a message of public safety, will be the second black mayor in the city’s history after the late David Dinkins.
A Brooklyn native who currently serves as city president won Adams a chaotic Democratic primary this summer on a pledge to both strengthen and reform the NYPD amid concerns over an increase in violent crime. His message – that “public safety is the precondition for prosperity” – resonated with working-class Democratic voters outside the traditionally liberal enclaves of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, fueling his nomination. Adams’ election campaign was much more subdued. He largely ignored Sliwa, a founder of Guardian Angels and media personality.
After Sliwa attacked him during one of their two debates, Adams shrugged and refused to engage.
“I’m talking to New Yorkers,” he said, “don’t bother.”
A former state legislator, Adams rose to the top of the Democratic mayoral field with a clear pitch to voters anxious about a pandemic-year rise in violent crime and persistent concerns about NYPD abuse, arguing that he is unique positioned to address both concerns.
This effort required him to find a careful balance in pledging to deal with police dishonesty, and he often noted his previous efforts to proclaim racism within the NYPD, as well as his testimony in the trial, which ended the illegal use of “stop and fresh “policies. (Adams says the tactic should be used, but under legal guidelines.) He has also argued that the current debate on policing has presented a false choice, rejecting both the law-and-order rhetoric, which is favored by many on the right wing while condemning the left wing. wing activists’ calls to “defound” or more fundamentally reform the police.