In an interview with MetroFocus anchor Rafael Pi Roman, State Senator Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn) said stopping gun violence in New York requires a broad range of actions including funding community-based groups such as Save Our Streets, encouraging parents to do more for at-risk children, and expecting responsible policing
from the NYPD.
Brooklyn remains a hub of gun activity for the city. In 2011,the highest percentage of the city’s homicides occurred in Brooklyn. Adams represents some of the most violent neighborhoods in that borough, including Crown Heights and Flatbush.
“The guns that are giving New Yorkers problems are those guns that are coming from the southern part of the country, where you have very lax gun laws”
“Gun buy back programs are not the guns we needs,” he told Pi Roman. “The guns that are giving New Yorkers problems are those guns that are coming from the southern part of the country, where you have very lax gun laws.” Adams added, “We have to go after those gun laws and stop the pipeline–we have to turn off the faucet.”
“We saw the President of the United States, the Governor of the state of New York and all the governors across the country move quickly when it happened in Newtown […] but we still move at a slower pace with the real problem, which are handguns,” Adams said. “And that is an indicator that we’re saying that some lives are just dispensable and we can’t govern in that manner.”
Adams, who served on the New York Police Department for twenty-years, advocates for a reduction of stop-and-frisk activity. He says programs such as Save Our Streets play an important role. “All of these programs, where you look at their catchment areas…gun violence goes down,” Adams told Rafael Pi Roman, “Yet we cut their budgets, even with their success rate.”
FROM POLICE CAPTAIN TO STATE SENATOR
Ending his career as a captain in the NYPD, Adams took office in 2007. He has often taken issue with remarks from his former boss, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
The NYPD targets Brooklyn for stop-and-frisk, according to NYCLU as reported by DNAinfo. Speaking out against stop-and-frisk in borough, Adams last year told the The New York Daily News: “We don’t want to tie the hands of police, outlawing the entire process, but we have to bring the abuse under control.”
Recent data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) shows that 1,861 firearms were recovered in Brooklyn. Some critics point out that stop-and-frisk locations don’t correlate with where guns are actually recovered by the NYPD, as shown by this heat map from WNYC.
Adams believes that that discrepancy might be causing animosity in minority communities. “You can’t alienate the community that should be your partner,” Adams said to Pi Roman, adding “[I]t creates a barrier between the police and the good citizens.”
Last year, Adams went undercover to show how easy it is to purchase high-capacity magazines and this year he did it again, purchasing a gun as well.