Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams suggested that New York City must “go after guns” after ten people were injured by a shooting in Queens over the weekend that police say was gang-related.
“We need a joint gangs and guns task force with federal, state and city coordination to make sure that we can do information sharing, go after the guns that are on the street, stop the flow of guns and take down these crews,” Adams said, according to ABC 7.
Adams’ comments come after two men opened fire in Corona, Queens around 10:40 p.m. on Saturday. After the shooting, the men got on waiting mopeds driven by two other men and fled the scene. Police said the act of gang violence injured 10 people, most of whom were bystanders — just three of the 10 injured were the intended targets of the shooting.
“There’s just one common theme, I want to get out there, that’s a recurring theme that keeps happening, and it has to stop throughout the city,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. “That’s gang members, that’s guns, multiple guns on the scene, scooters being used, masks. And lastly, unintended targets getting hit. This is unacceptable on our streets in New York City, and it has to stop.”
Eighteen people were shot in the city on Saturday, in six separate shootings.
Last month the Democrat said that his party’s priorities for gun control on the federal level are “misplaced,” as too much of the party’s focus is on assault weapons. He said Democrats should instead train their focus on violence involving handguns.
The mayoral candidate also criticized Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order on gun violence last month, asking “what took so long?”
“And why has it taken us so long? We’re watching these babies die, year after year after year,” Adams said on CBS This Morning. “No one seems to care.”
Last year from January to July 31, the city recorded 771 shootings with 938 victims, according to police. This year, those figures rose to 898 shootings and 1,056 victims.
The surge in gun violence comes after the city council disbanded the NYPD’s plain clothes gun violence prevention unit over concerns about racial discrimination voiced in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa called for the city to bring back stop and frisk in the wake of the Queens shooting.
“If you’re not stopping and frisking these men who are at war with one another, you’re guaranteeing more of them coming out with loaded handguns and 9 millimeters and start popping shots at innocent members of community as we’ve seen over these past months,” Sliwa said, according to ABC 7.
Adams, a former police captain, won the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York City last month. He beat out a crowded field in New York’s first major race to use ranked-choice voting.
If elected, Adams would become the city’s second black mayor. As Democrats outnumber Republicans by 7-to-1 in New York City, according to the Associated Press, Adams will be the likely victor of the general election.