Opinion: Just let the police do their jobs!

Protests against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in New York
REUTERS/Idris Solomon

Earlier this summer, Brooklyn Borough President and prospective mayoral candidate Eric Adams told residents that they should confront those committing illegal acts, such as setting off fireworks, rather than calling the police. Now, an innocent young Brooklyn woman is dead after her family says she followed this insane advice.

As the explosion of fireworks began affecting all parts of our city earlier this summer, Adams said that residents should “go talk to the young people or the people on your block who are using fireworks” instead of calling the police because he worried that the NYPD would use a heavy-handed approach in minority communities. 

As a former cop, Adams carries a gun and as Borough President he has a protective detail, so he may feel safe to confront folks. However, in these times when gun violence is surging, ordinary New Yorkers would be risking their lives to confront people, as the family of Shatavia Walls has learned.

Walls, only 33, died on July 17 after she reportedly confronted those setting off fireworks in East New York on July 7. Her heartbroken mom has said that her daughter was heeding the advice of Adams and, fearing for the safety of local children and seniors, Walls asked those shooting off the fireworks to stop. She was shot eight times, which proved fatal when she died at Brookdale University Hospital 10 days later.

Amazingly, even after her death, Adams doubled down by saying “the first line of interaction when it comes to non-criminal behaviors should be between neighbors.”

Here is the fallacy in his statement — using fireworks is illegal. As a former cop, he should know the law, but this is the problem with most of today’s Democrats. They want to give a pass to most crimes and proclaim that we do not need to enforce some laws because of perceived racial reasons. Just look at the graffiti and other illegal activities around Occupy City Hall.

Adams has also accused his former comrades in blue of intentionally slowing down incident response time. In a news interview on July 19, he said, “The increase in crime is one thing, but not responding to crime is another thing…we can’t have police not responding to jobs.”

Here is the rub — on the one hand, Adams says he does not want police to respond to crime and residents should address it with their neighbors, but now he is saying that cops are not responding fast enough.

Rightfully, two prospective Republican mayoral candidates — Curtis Sliwa and John Catsimatidis — and blasted Adams’ bad advice.

Not surprisingly, Democrats have pleaded the Fifth.

Bob Capano has worked for Brooklyn Republican and Democrat elected officials, and has been an adjunct political science professor for over 15 years. Follow him on twitter @bobcapano.