MetroFocus: July 12, 2021

Our Frontpage Forecast panelists Brooklyn NAACP President and Political Strategist L. Joy Williams, CUNY Professor and former President of the New York City Board of Elections JC Polanco and New York politics reporter and former New York Daily News Editorial Board member Laura Nahmias bring us the latest headlines from across the tristate and the nation.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER.

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD.

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY.

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON.

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THIS IS OUR FRONT PAGE FORECAST, A LOOK AHEAD ON THE MAJOR HEADLINES THIS WEEK.

THE NEW YORK MAYORAL PRIMARIES ARE FINALLY OVER.

WITH THAT, FOCUS SHIFTS TO ANOTHER ELECTION AND THE INVESTIGATION THAT COULD UPEND EVERYTHING.

FOR MONTHS ATTORNEY GENERAL TRISH JAMES HAS BEEN LOOKING INTO A WIDE RANGE OF ALLEGATIONS AGAINST GOVERNOR CUOMO.

IT IS A PROBE THAT COULD HAVE MAJOR RAMIFICATIONS WITH CUOMO EYEING A FOURTH TERM IN 2022 AND ONGOING SPECULATION THAT JAMES HERSELF MIGHT RUN FOR GOVERNOR AS WELL.

SO WHAT EXACTLY DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION THUS FAR AND HOW COULD IT ALTER NEW YORK'S POLITICAL LANDSCAPE?

WE'LL DISCUSS.

> PLUS, IT WAS ANOTHER DEADLY WEEKEND IN THE CITY WITH SEVERAL MORE SHOOTINGS REPORTED.

DEMOCRATIC MAYORAL NOMINEE ERIC ADAMS IS NOW DISCUSSING THE CITY'S GUN VIOLENCE PROBLEM WITH PRESIDENT BIDEN.

BUT WHAT CAN REALLY BE DONE TO STOP THE BLOODSHED?

FOR POSSIBLE ANSWERS AS WELL AS THEIR TAKE ON WHAT ELSE COULD DRIVE THE NEWS CYCLE THIS WEEK, I'D LIKE TO WELCOME BACK TONIGHT'S PANEL.

WE'RE WELCOMING BACK ELJOY WILLIAMS.

SHE'S A POLITICAL STRATEGIST WHO RECENTLY ADVISED RAY McGUIRE'S CAMPAIGN FOR MAYOR.

WELCOME BACK TO 'METROFOCUS'.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

WE ARE JOINED BY J.C.

POLANCO, A FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF ELECTIONS.

J.C., GREAT TO HAVE YOU.

HAPPY TO BE HERE WITH YOU.

THANK YOU.

AND WE ARE ALSO JOINED TONIGHT BY LAURA.

A POLITICAL REPORTER AND AUTHOR OF THE FUN CITY NEWSLETTER.

SHE'S ALSO A FORMER MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK CITY DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL BOARD.

LAURA, WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS' AGAIN.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

OF COURSE.

SO I WANT TO START WITH THE INVESTIGATIONS INTO GOVERNOR CUOMO.

NOW, LAURA, CAN YOU LAY OUT WHAT IT IS THAT TISH YEAH IS LOOKING INTO FOR ANYBODY THAT MIGHT HAVE MISSED THIS STORY AMIDST ALL THE OTHER ONES WE HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING.

SHE IS SPECIFICALLY LOOKING INTO -- WELL, AND HAS ASKED OUTSIDE INVESTIGATORS WITH LONG CREDENTIALS TO LOOK INTO A NUMBER OF ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND GENERAL HARASSMENT AGAINST -- BY GOVERNOR CUOMO AGAINST SOME FORMER AIDS WHO ARE YOUNG WOMEN AND AGAINST MEMBERS OF THE STAFF.

AND SHE HAS BEEN FOR MONTHS NOW CONDUCTING -- OR THE OFFICE HAS BEEN CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS, GATHERING TESTIMONY, GATHERING ALL OF THE FACTS.

IT'S BEEN A RAPID AND ONGOING INVESTIGATION.

AND THIS IS RUNNING PARALLEL TO A SEPARATE PROBE BY THE EASTERN DISTRICT U.S. ATTORNEYS OFFICE INTO HOW THE GOVERNOR AND HIS STAFF HANDLED OR POTENTIALLY MISHANDLED COVID IN NURSING HOMES THROUGHOUT THE STATE.

BUT TISH JAMES' INVESTIGATION, THE AG OFFICE'S INVESTIGATION IS POTENTIALLY -- I KNOW THAT THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE IS REALLY WORRIED ABOUT THIS, AND THEY'RE WORRIED ABOUT IT BECAUSE ANDREW CUOMO USED TO BE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NEW YORK STATE, AND HE KNOWS EXACTLY HOW POWERFUL THIS OFFICE CAN BE, EVEN IF THEY NEVER BRING ANY CHARGES, CIVIL OR SOMETHING.

THERE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE ANY FINDING OF A CRIME HERE THAT ACTUALLY OCCURRED FOR WHATEVER IT IS THAT JAMES' OFFICE PRODUCES TO BE EXTREMELY DAMAGING.

CUOMO HIMSELF WAS INVOLVED IN REPORTS THAT WERE TREMENDOUSLY DAMAGING TO THE REPUTATIONS OF HIS PREDECESSORS IN THE OFFICE, TO DAVID PATTERSON AND TO ELLIOT SPITZER.

INVESTIGATION OF THEIR OFFICE RESOURCES AND OFFICIAL RESOURCES.

AND INVESTIGATIONS HAVE PRODUCED REPORTS NARRATIVES OF CONDUCT THAT WAS UNSEEMLY.

ANDREW CUOMO KNOWS HOW DAMAGING THAT COULD BE AND THAT COULD REALLY HAMPER HIS DESIRE TO WIN A FOURTH TERM IN OFFICE.

AND HE REALLY HAS NO IDEA, AND WE HAVE NO IDEA EXACTLY WHAT IT IS THAT SHE'LL LAY OUT AND HOW SHE'LL WRITE IT AND WHAT THAT COULD MEAN FOR HIS POLITICAL FUTURE.

YOU KNOW, I WANT TO BRING YOU IN COMING OFF ADVISING A POLITICAL CAMPAIGN YOURSELF.

I'M WONDERING HOW DO YOU SEE THESE ONGOING PROBES INTO GOVERNOR CUOMO?

AGAIN, HE'S A THREE-TERM GOVERNOR.

HE'S LOOKING AT NUMBER FOUR, OR THE POSSIBILITY OF RUNNING INTO A FOURTH TERM.

THIS IS THE POINT NOW WHERE HE HAS MULTIPLE INVESTIGATIONS, AS LAURA SAID, FROM A VERY POWERFUL ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE.

IS SOMETHING THAT PERHAPS HE NEEDS TO ADDRESS IN A WAY HE HASN'T BEFORE WHERE WE HAVE OFTEN SEEN HIM APOLOGIZE AND THEN BRUSH IT OFF AND MOVE ON?

YEAH.

THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS ATTEMPTS AND NUMEROUS SCANDALS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT CUOMO'S BEHAVIOR AND HIS GOVERNING OF THE STATE AND HIS USE OF OFFICE RESOURCES AND HIS POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING FOR SOME TIME.

IF YOU REMEMBER, WHEN WE HAD THIS CONVERSATION BACK WHEN THE ALLEGATIONS WERE FIRST INTRODUCED AND THERE WAS THIS QUESTION WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS FINALLY, WHICH WAS A LOT OF THE CONVERSATION DURING THAT TIME WAS THIS FINALLY THE END OF CUOMO, YOU KNOW, I WAS SKEPTICAL THEN, YOU KNOW, GIVEN HOW MANY LIVES ANDREW CUOMO HAS HAD IN POLITICS HERE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK AND THE DEPTH OF HIS RELATIONSHIPS AND HOW EVEN GRAINED HE IS IN POLITICS IN THIS STATE.

SO IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO SAY THIS IS IT, RIGHT?

IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IT WHEN THE ALLEGATIONS WERE FIRST LODGED.

SO I'M SKEPTICAL AS TO WHETHER OR NOT WE ARE BEGINNING TO SEE THE DECLINE BECAUSE HERE IS THE ACTUAL QUESTION.

THE QUESTION IS HAS THE OPPOSITION TO HIM INCREASED TO A LEVEL THAT FOLKS ARE WILLING TO PUT THEIR POLITICAL CAPITAL ON THE LINE TO OPPOSE HIM?

OR IF THE FOLKS THAT HAVE BEEN SAYING SINCE THE ALLEGATIONS WERE FIRST INTRODUCED THAT HE SHOULD RESIGN, SOME WHO ARE DOUBLING DOWN AND SAYING THAT THEY STILL BELIEVE THAT HE SHOULD RESIGN BECAUSE IT'S ONE THING TO SAY HE SHOULD RESIGN, RIGHT?

BECAUSE IT COULD BE A WINK AND A NOD TO SAY I HAVE TO DO THIS FOR A POLITICAL REASON AND, YOU KNOW, THINGS OF THAT NATURE.

BUT WHETHER OR NOT THEY'RE ACTUALLY SAYING TO HIM, OKAY, THIS IS IT, YOU'RE DONE AND WE'RE LOOKING FOR SOMEBODY NEW TO LEAD THE PARTY IN THIS STATE, I DO AGREE WITH LAURA AND OBVIOUSLY AS WE HAVE SEEN BEFORE, WHETHER OR NOT ACTUAL CHARGES ARE FILED OR THINGS OF THAT NATURE, WHAT INFORMATION COMES OUT CERTAINLY HAS AN IMPACT ON VOTERS' MINDS.

AND WE SEE WHETHER IT'S POLLING OR A NUMBER OF THINGS OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS, PARTICULARLY AS THE ADMINISTRATION DEALT WITH COVID, THOSE HERE IN THE STATE, YOU KNOW, HIS SUPPORT IS KIND OF WISHY WASHY, BUT I THINK FACED WITH HIS NAME ON A BALLOT, IF THAT STILL WERE TO COME, VOTERS IN GENERAL GO WITH WHO THEY KNOW, RIGHT?

UNLESS THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT OPPOSITION THAT IS LODGED AGAINST HIM OR THE CONVERSATION FROM OTHER LEADERS WHO HAVE CONTINUED TO PROP HIM UP, CONTINUE TO SUPPORT HIM, YOU KNOW, MAYBE DO SO -- MAYBE OPPOSE HIM IN WORDS BUT NOT DO SO IN DEEDS.

AND, SO, I THINK IT'S -- THERE IS NO BLANKET, OKAY, THIS IS GOING TO -- YOU KNOW, THIS IS CERTAINLY THE END.

THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, CUOMO IS A VERY -- HE'S VERY GOOD AT POLITICS, VERY GOOD AT SORT OF GOVERNING THAT WAY.

SO I THINK THE LARGER QUESTION IS WHETHER OR NOT DEMOCRATS IN THIS STATE, WHETHER OR NOT LEADERS IN THIS STATE SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR ANOTHER PERSON TO LEAD THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO BE GOVERNOR.

I PERSONALLY THINK IT'S PASSED THAT TIME FOR THAT.

BUT I DON'T KNOW IF THE POLITICAL WILL EXISTS AND PEOPLE HAVE THE ACTUAL BACKBONE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

OKAY.

SO, J.C., HERE'S WHAT I WANT TO ASK YOU NOW.

WITH ALL OF THAT, I CAN'T HELP BUT ALSO KEEP IN MIND THE FACT THAT WE'RE ALSO SORT OF REMINDING PEOPLE ABOUT ALL OF THIS BECAUSE FOR THE ELECTORATE, THERE'S BEEN SO MUCH THAT SEEMS TO HAVE HAPPENED THAT I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE LIKE, OH, THAT'S RIGHT, THERE ARE THOSE INVESTIGATIONS.

THERE WERE THOSE CLAIMS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

YOU KNOW, JANUARY AND FEBRUARY FEEL LIKE THREE YEARS AGO.

SO I GUESS I HESITATE TO USE THE WORD TEFLON WHEN I TALK ABOUT CUOMO.

HE'S THE TEFLON DON.

IF ANDREW CUOMO WAS A REPUBLICAN, HE'D BE IMPEACHED BY NOW WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE DEATHS FROM COVID IN NURSING HOMES, WHEN YOU CONSIDER ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN HIS ADMINISTRATION AND INCLUDING SOME OF THE STUFF WE HAVE SEEN NOW.

IT WOULD BE A WRAP.

BUT HE'S A DEMOCRAT.

THIS IS A DEMOCRATIC STATE FOR THE MOST PART.

SO HE GETS TO ENJOY THESE QUESTIONS.

SHOULD HE RESIGN?

SHOULD HE BE INVESTIGATED?

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

AND THAT'S SOME OF THE PRIVILEGES YOU HAVE AS A DEMOCRAT IN NEW YORK.

YOU KNOW, THE POLITICAL LEADERS AND WOULD THEY PUT THEIR POLITICAL CAPITAL ON THE LINE?

WHO WOULD?

IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE A SENATE COMMITTEE CHAIR AND YOU HAVE JUST GOT EVERYTHING YOU WANTED OUT OF THE LAST STATE BUDGET, WOULD YOU?

I MEAN, WOULD YOU COME AFTER HIM CONSIDERING HE'S GIVEN YOU EVERYTHING YOU WANT, INCLUDING WEED.

THINK ABOUT THIS.

THERE IS NO WAY POSSIBLE YOU WOULD PUT THIS ON THE LINE.

HE'S GONE AS FAR AS DISCREDITING HIS NEXT OPPONENT.

I STRONGLY BELIEVE -- I RAN AGAINST TISH JAMES IN 2017.

SO HEAR ME OUT.

YOU HAVE A ATTORNEY GENERAL WHO SECURED A SETTLEMENT WITH PHARMA AND SOMEHOW THE GOVERNOR HAS TAKEN FULL CREDIT FOR THIS IN THE PRESS.

HE'S DISCREDITED TISH NAMES THE ENTIRE TIME, CLAIMING SHE'S A POTENTIAL CHALLENGER IN THE GOVERNOR'S RACE AND HE'S GIVEN ALL OF THE POLITICAL LEADERS EVERYTHING THEY WANTED.

THIS MAN IS MADE OF TEFLON.

THERE IS NO QUESTION ABOUT IT, I THINK IN MY OPINION.

YOUR VIEWERS, THEY TOO WOULD ADMIT IF THIS GUY WERE REPUBLICAN, HE'D BE OUT.

OKAY.

SO I DO WANT TO PUSH BACK A LITTLE BIT, THOUGH, BECAUSE I DO WONDER IF IT'S JUST THAT IT'S HIM AND THAT, YOU KNOW, HE'S A DEMOCRAT, HE'S IN A SOLIDLY BLUE STATE OR, AGAIN, IF THE ELECTOR RAT IS JUST EXHAUSTED.

I DEFINITELY GET A SENSE FROM CONVERSATIONS WITH PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN'T KEEP UP WITH IT ANYMORE.

QUITE OFTEN, I OFTEN SAY THIS TO POLITICAL REPORTERS WHEN THEY CALL AND THEY'RE ASKING, IS IT JUST THIS?

WELL, IT'S NOT JUST THAT BECAUSE ANYTHING WITH POLITICS AND YOU ARE DEALING WITH HUMAN BEINGS, IT IS A RANGE OF THINGS CONTRIBUTING TO WHATEVER POLITICAL DISCUSSION.

AND IT'S RIGHT.

THERE IS THE, YOU KNOW, THIS IS A DEMOCRATIC STATE.

PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO LOSE THE MAJORITY IN THE STATE.

THEY WANT TO LEAD.

THERE IS ALSO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS LIKE ME, J.C. AND FOLKS WHO LIKE WRITE ABOUT THIS CONSISTENTLY, RIGHT?

LIKE IT'S NOT ON THE TOP OF MIND.

IT'S NOT ALSO IMPEDING PEOPLE'S ABILITY TO LIVE THEIR DAILY LIVES, RIGHT?

ALTHOUGH, I WOULD ARGUE THAT HOW THE GOVERNOR AND HOW THE ADMINISTRATION HANDLED VARIOUS ASPECTS OF COVID, YOU KNOW, SHOULD BE SOMETHING THAT CONTINUES TO BE ON, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE'S DAILY MINDS JUST THINKING ABOUT HOW WE'VE HANDLED THE CRISIS THUS FAR.

BUT GIVEN ALL OF THAT, IT IS ALWAYS A COMBINATION OF THINGS, RIGHT, THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THESE PIECES.

AND YOU ARE RIGHT, THERE IS THE EXHAUSTION.

YOU'RE JUST TALKING ABOUT NEW YORK CITY HAVING GONE THROUGH A MAYORAL ELECTION.

BUT THERE IS, AS I LIKE TO TELL PEOPLE LIKE NEW YORK CITY AS IN ALL OF NEW YORK STATE, THERE ARE OTHER THINGS HAPPENING ACROSS THE STATE, RIGHT, THAT PEOPLE ARE PAYING ATTENTION TO POLITICALLY OR THAT HAVE AN IMPACT WHETHER OR NOT PEOPLE ARE FOLLOWING THIS ON A CONSISTENT BASIS.

AND I THINK THE OTHER PIECES, IT IS BY DESIGN AND PEOPLE ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS ON A REGULAR BASIS BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, YES, THE HEADLINES THERE IS A RESPONSIBILITY AND THERE IS WHAT THE PRESS IS REPORTING ON THIS CONSISTENTLY, BUT THERE ISN'T, AS I MENTIONED BEFORE, A DRUM BEAT FROM ELECTED LEADERS OR OTHER POLITICAL LEADERS CONSISTENTLY SAYING, YOU KNOW, THAT, YOU KNOW, POINTING BACK TO THEIR CALL FOR HIM TO RESIGN.

THERE ISN'T THAT HAPPENING, RIGHT?

IT'S NOT -- AND LAURA COULD PROBABLY SPEAK TO ANY TIME SHE'S TALKING TO ELECTED OFFICIALS, LABOR LEADERS OR OTHERS, THEY'RE NOT SAYING, BY THE WAY, CUOMO SHOULD STILL RESIGN.

IT IS NOT BEING PUT BACK INTO CONVERSATION WHICH AGAIN LEADS ME TO THE POINT THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT WILLING TO PUT THEIR POLITICAL CAPITAL ON THIS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

LAURA, DOES THAT FIT WITH WHAT --

ABSOLUTELY.

EXACTLY CORRECT.

I MEAN, I THINK WHAT HAPPENED WAS THE DRUM BEAT FOR IMPEACHING HIM WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN HE WILL NEVER RESIGN.

HE WILL NEVER RESIGN.

HE WANTS THAT FOURTH TERM.

IT'S PERSONAL FOR HIM.

IT'S LIKE FUNDAMENTAL TO HIS BEING.

I DON'T THINK YOU -- HE WOULD HAVE TO BE REMOVED.

AND THE CALLS FOR IMPEACHMENT DOVE TAIL VERY NICELY WITH THE DEADLINE FOR THE STATE BUDGET IN WHICH THE DEMOCRAT CONTROLLED STATE LEGISLATURE GOT BASICALLY EVERYTHING THEY WANTED.

THEY GOT A TAX INCREASE.

THEY GOT THE MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION.

THEY GOT A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT THINGS THEY WANTED.

AND THOSE THINGS, IT SEEMS LIKE THEY MAY HAVE DECIDED WERE WORTH NOT PUSHING HIM OUT.

AND IT MAY BE TOO LATE TO PUSH HIM OUT AT THIS POINT.

HE'S WORKING WITH THEM IN A WAY THAT IS USEFUL TO THEM.

HE CAN GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT.

HE CAN HELP THE ASSEMBLY SPEAKERS FEND OFF PRIMARY CHALLENGES BY GETTING PROGRESSIVE LEGISLATION THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE.

AND, SO, THAT'S -- THAT'S QUIETED THE CALLS FOR RESIGNATION FROM ELECTED OFFICIALS.

BUT HE'S ALSO DONE THIS THING THAT HE'S DONE THROUGHOUT HIS TIME IN OFFICE AS GOVERNOR, WHICH IS THAT HE'S REALLY CONTROLLED ACCESS TO HIS PERSON.

WE FORGET THAT THE TIME DURING COVID WHERE HE WAS DOING THIS DAILY PRESS CONFERENCE WAS COMPLETELY AN ANOMALY.

BEFORE THAT, HE WAS AVOIDING AND WOULD OFTEN GO MANY MONTHS AT A TIME WITHOUT TAKING QUESTIONS FROM THE KNOWLEDGEABLE REPORTERS WHO COVER HIM IN THE STATE CAPITAL.

AND HE'S SORT OF GONE BACK TO THAT MODE.

HE HOLDS THESE PRESS CONFERENCES NOW WHERE NO REPORTERS ARE ALLOWED, REALLY CONTROLLING ACCESS IN HIM IN AN EFFORT TO CONTROL THE STORY AND KEEP HIM FROM SAYING ANYTHING NEW ABOUT THESE INVESTIGATIONS AND NEW ABOUT THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT STUFF THAT WOULD PUT IT BACK IN FRONT OF THE MINDS OF NEW YORKERS AND VOTERS.

AND IF HE DOESN'T GET ASKED ABOUT IT, THEN HE DOESN'T HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

AND IF HE CAN KEEP PEOPLE FROM ASKING HIM ABOUT IT, THEN THE BETTER FOR HIM.

WELL, HOPEFULLY, WE CAN MAKE SURE PEOPLE DO REMEMBER AND ARE REMINDED OF THESE INVESTIGATIONS THAT ARE ONGOING.

I WANT TO PIVOT TO ANOTHER BIG ISSUE.

THAT IS THE RISE IN GUN VIOLENCE.

GOVERNOR CUOMO HAS DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY, AND AS ELJOY TO ELOQUENTLY PUT IT, IT IS NOT JUST SOMETHING THAT'S HAPPENING IN NEW YORK CITY.

IT IS ALSO HAPPENING AROUND THE STATE AS WELL, OTHER CITIES, ROCHESTER, BUFFALO HAVE ALSO SEEN INCREASES IN GUN VIOLENCE IN THOSE CITIES.

AND, SO, J.C., I WANT TO GET YOUR TAKE BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF PUSHBACK WITH THIS RISE IN GUN VIOLENCE THAT PERHAPS DEMOCRATS TOOK A WRONG DIRECTION WHEN IT CAME TO ADDRESSING POLICING.

THERE IS NO QUESTION THEY DID.

ABSOLUTELY.

LISTEN, THEY MEANT WELL.

I MEAN, DEMOCRAT MAJORITY, THEY MEANT WELL.

THEY SAW HISTORICALLY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM.

NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.

BAIL HAS BEEN KEPT HIGH OR EVEN AT ALL FOR PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE US FOR MANY YEARS.

IN ORDER TO FIX THAT PROBLEM, THEY OVERCORRECTED AND DIDN'T THINK THIS THROUGH.

YOU DON'T SAY NO BAIL AT ALL FOR SOME OF THE CRIMES THAT AFFECT OUR COMMUNITIES THE MOST.

TODAY, IF YOU ARE A GANG MEMBER AND YOU ARE CAUGHT IN FRONT OF A SCHOOL WITH A GUN, THERE IS NO BAIL FOR YOU.

SADLY, THAT MEANS THAT ALBANY, NEW YORK CITY, ROCHESTER, BUFFALO, AMSTERDAM, CITIES ACROSS THE STATE WHERE FOLKS WHO LOOK LIKE US ARE BEING TERRORIZED BY GANG MEMBERS WITH GUNS SHOOTING OUR KIDS.

IN THE BRONX KED A 13-YEAR-OLD WAS KILLED BLOCKS FROM ME.

NOW THEY SAY IT IS GANG RELATED.

WE HAVE A PROBLEM.

INSTEAD OF FIGURING OUT A SOLUTION WHERE WE COULD MONITOR THEIR DISCRETION, ANALYZE WHO IS POSING A THREAT TO A COMMUNITY, ANALYZE FLIGHT RISK LIKE WE USED TO, WE JUST DECIDED TO CORRECT A WRONG COMPLETELY IRRESPONSIBLY AND WE'RE PAYING THE PRICE FOR IT.

NOW WE HAVE A STATE OF EMERGENCY ON GUN VIOLENCE.

I MEAN, WE HAVE TO TAKE A LOOK.

THERE IS A DIRECT CORRELATION.

YOU CAN SPEAK TO ANYONE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT.

SOME OF THOSE POLICIES THAT TOOK PLACE IN ALBANY AND THE INCREASE OF CRIME IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS NEW YORK.

YOUR TAKE ON THAT?

IS THAT A FAIR ASSESSMENT?

NO!

J.C., YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU.

BUT THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT THE GUN VIOLENCE AND WHAT THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE ERIC ADAMS WILL MEET WITH PRESIDENT BIDEN AND PRESUMABLY OTHERS.

I THINK THE MAJYOR TALKED ABOUT THIS AS WELL.

REDUCING IT TO BAIL REFORM THAT WAS PASSED IS NOT FAIR.

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT WHOLISTICALLY WHAT IS AN ISSUE THAT REQUIRES A WHOLISTIC APPROACH.

WE ALWAYS LIKE TO IDENTIFY THERE IS JUST ONE ISSUE THAT IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO ANOTHER, AND BAIL REFORM LAWS ARE NOT THE SINGLE ONLY ISSUE THAT IS RESULTING INTO THE INCREASED CRIME THAT PEOPLE ARE -- THAT PEOPLE ARE EXPERIENCING IN THIS CITY IN NEW YORK, ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY BECAUSE, AGAIN, THERE IS STILL PEOPLE WHO ARE CAUGHT WITH GUNS, PEOPLE -- THOSE ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE BAIL REFORM LAWS.

THAT'S NOT TRUE.

NO.

NO.

PEOPLE -- IT'S APPLYING TO PEOPLE WHO WOULD HAVE ALREADY -- WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO, IF THEY HAD POSED BAIL, BE RELEASED.

BUT TO MY LARGER POINT, EQUATING IT AND SAYING BAIL REFORM IS THE SOLE THING RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INCREASE IN CRIME, A PART THAT'S HAPPENING ACROSS THIS COUNTRY IS UNFAIR.

I THINK THE LARGER ISSUE THAT WE DO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE SELL AND TRANSPORTATION OF ILLEGAL GUNS NOT ONLY IN THIS CITY BUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAT IS HAPPENING WHERE STATES THAT HAVE LAX GUN LAWS ARE -- WHICH WE KNOW FOR A FACT, RIGHT?

WE KNOW FOR A FACT THAT THE TRAFFICKING OF GUNS THAT IS HAPPENING IS COMING FROM AREAS THAT HAVE LAX GUN LAWS FOR NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY AREA THAT'S MAINLY, YOU KNOW, AREAS IN THE SOUTH WHERE PEOPLE ARE GOING AND THEN TRAFFICKING GUNS -- HANDGUNS BECAUSE WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT MACHINE GUNS AND THINGS.

TALKING ABOUT TRANSPORTING HANDGUNS HERE IN NEW YORK CITY AND IN THE NEW JERSEY AREA.

SO THERE IS WHAT THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE ERIC ADAMS IS TALKING ABOUT, HOW DO WE CREATE A COORDINATED EFFORT TO ADDRESS THOSE PROBLEMS OF ILLEGAL HANDGUNS ENTERING OUR COMMUNITIES, RIGHT?

THERE IS ALSO THE QUESTION OF HOW DO YOU REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE THAT ARE PARTICIPATING IN GUN VIOLENCE, WHETHER THAT'S ENGAGED IN GANGS, INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE, WHETHER THAT'S LAW ENFORCEMENT.

THERE ARE A MYRIAD OF ISSUES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO GUN VIOLENCE.

AND IT SHOULD BE A COORDINATED EFFORT.

AND HOW DO WE DEAL WITH ALL OF THOSE THINGS COLLECTIVELY.

BUT, J.C., I HAVE TO SAY TO POINT DIRECTLY TO BAIL REFORM AS THE SOLE REASON THAT WE ARE SEEING THIS UPTICK, PARTICULARLY BECAUSE IN OTHER STATES THAT THIS IS HAPPENING, THEY DIDN'T HAVE BAIL REFORM.

OKAY.

VERY QUICKLY, I WANT TO HEAR FROM J.C.

I JUST MENTIONED BAIL REFORM AS ONE OF THEM.

BUT THERE HAVE BEEN MANY THINGS THAT TOOK PLACE THAT WERE WELL INTENTIONED OR MISGUIDED.

THAT'S NOT EVEN INCLUDING SOME OF THE DISCLOSURES WE HAVE TO PROVIDE TO DEFENSE ATTORNEYS TO KEEP OUR COMMUNITIES SAFE.

THAT INCLUDES THE FACT THAT de BLASIO LAST YEAR MADE AN ELITE CRIME FIGHTING UNIT IN THE NYPD AND A WHOLE HOST OF OTHER SO-CALLED REFORMS THAT TOOK PLACE.

I ONLY MENTION GUN REFORM BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN A MYRIAD OF WELL-MENTIONED POLICIES THAT TOOK PLACE THAT ONLY MADE OUR COMMUNITIES LESS SAFE.

AND THAT'S A FACT.

YOU CAN'T IGNORE THE CORRELATION.

OKAY.

UNFORTUNATELY, GUYS, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PUT A PIN IN THIS.

I WANT TO ADDRESS THE FACT THAT OUR DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR MAYOR IS THE ONE WHO ADDRESS THE PRESIDENT ON GUN VIOLENCE.

WHAT IT SEEMS LIKE ON THE OUT SET OF WHAT WE HEARD FROM ERIC ADAMS ON THE SUNDAY NEWS SHOWS, THAT HE SEEMS TO BE THREADING THE NEEDLE WITH THIS.

HE'S TALKING ABOUT MAKING SURE WE ADDRESS A LOT OF THE SOCIAL ILLS THAT LEAD TO GUN VIOLENCE.

FIRST I JUST WANT YOU TO ADDRESS THE FACT THAT HE IS THE ONE WHO IS GOING TO THE WHITE HOUSE OR AT LEAST WILL BE SPEAKING WITH THE PRESIDENT, I SHOULD SAY.

AND THEN SECONDLY, HOW IS THIS EVEN THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN GET INVOLVED IN CONSIDERING THERE IS SO MANY DIFFERENT STATES AND SO MANY DIFFERENT RULES?

WELL, ERIC ADAMS IS SUCH AN INTERESTING PERSON.

I MEAN, HE IS GOING -- IT IS VERY LIKELY THAT HE WILL BE THE NEXT MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY.

SO IT MAKES SENSE THAT HE'S MEETING WITH BIDEN.

HE WILL BE IN CHARGE OF NEW YORK CITY AND GUN CHARGE POLICIES FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS IF HE DOES WIN.

BUT HE'S ALSO SUCH AN INTERESTING PERSON AND SO INCREDIBLY WELL-POSITIONED ON THIS ISSUE, SPECIFICALLY, AS SOMEONE WHO WAS BOTH IN HIS CAREER A POLICE REFORM ADVOCATE AND ALSO A POLICE OFFICER HIMSELF.

HE -- FOR ALL THE CRITICISM OF HIM AS SOMEONE WHO SOMETIMES SPEAKS OUT OF SCHOOL OR IS PRONE TO HYPERBOLE, WHEN YOU LISTEN TO HIM TALKING ABOUT POLICING, HE IS OFTEN INCREDIBLY NUANCED.

YOU'RE RIGHT, THREADING THE NEEDLE.

I THINK HE DOES HAVE A LOT OF IDEAS.

AND SHARING THOSE WITH THE PRESIDENT TO SEE IF THEY CAN TRY TO APPLY SOME OF THESE POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS IN OTHER CITIES WHERE PROBLEMS MIGHT BE THE SAME AND WHAT IS THE REASON THAT A KID WHO IS 13 OR 15 OR 17 IS PICKING UP A GUN TO SOLVE A PROBLEM?

AND A LOT OF THAT GOES BACK TO DO THEY NOT TRUST LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THEIR COMMUNITIES?

DO THEY NOT HAVE THE LANGUAGE TO USE TO RESOLVE A PROBLEM WITH A FRIEND OR AN ENEMY THAT DOESN'T INVOLVE RESORTING TO PHYSICAL FORCE?

AND THAT IS LIKE ELJOY AND J.C.

WERE BOTH TALKING ABOUT.

THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM WITH A LOT OF CAUSES AND THAT MEANS THAT THE POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS ARE -- WE'RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO GET.

IT'S NOT GOING TO BE ONE THINGS OR TWO THINGS.

IT'S GOING TO GET CREATIVE AND WE NEED TO STAY ON IT.

I'M PRETTY HOPEFUL AND EXCITED THAT HE IS MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THIS.

I THINK THEY'RE BOTH TWO MEN WHO ACTUALLY DO CARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

I THINK THAT MIGHT SOUND A LITTLE POLLYANNISH, BUT I'M HOPING.

I THINK THEIR HEARTS ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

WE WILL HAVE TO LEAVE IT ON THE NOTE OF HOPE.

I'D LIKE TO THANK MY GUESTS, J.C., ELJOY AND LAURA.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THESE ARE CLEARLY ISSUES THAT WE NEED TO CONTINUE DISCUSSING AND WE WILL ON 'METROFOCUS.'

I LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING YOU ALL BACK AGAIN.

THANK YOU.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ.

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