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Transcript: Mayor Adams Holds In-Person Media Availability

January 30, 2024

Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy, Communications: Good afternoon, everybody. My name is Fabien Levy, and I serve as deputy mayor for Communications for the City of New York. We appreciate everyone joining us for our weekly in‑person media availability. 
Last week, the mayor delivered his third State of the City speech laying out a future‑focused vision that continues our work to protect public safety, rebuild our economy and make the city more livable for all New Yorkers. 
The mayor highlighted the bold initiatives our administration is taking to invest in public safety, public spaces and working people, and the results speak for themselves: crime is down, jobs are up and we are making the city cleaner, greener and more livable every day. 
Today you'll see the Preliminary Mayor's Management Report will show that in the first four months of this fiscal year, overall crime was down 3 percent. Let me repeat that: overall crime was down three full percent in the first four months of the fiscal year, and that trend has continued in the first month of this calendar year with crime being down again 3 percent. 
Just last week, this administration helped forgive over $2 billion in medical debt for up to 500,000 working-class New Yorkers. We also announced major plans to make New York City a national leader on gender equity with the ambitious goal of becoming the most woman‑forward city in the United States. We're investing in public spaces, building thousands of new housing units and taking steps to get every single black trash bag off our streets. 
Without a doubt, these investments will help keep people safe, grow our economy and make the city more livable for working-class New Yorkers. So, we look forward to taking your questions about these initiatives and more during today's media availability. 
Joining us this morning, we have Mayor Eric Adams, First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, Chief Advisor to the Mayor Ingrid Lewis‑Martin, Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack, Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams‑Isom, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana Almanzar, and Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg. So, without further delay, I'm pleased to turn it to Mayor Adams. 
Mayor Eric Adams: Thanks so much, Deputy Mayor Levy. And if we could just, for a moment, have a moment of silence for a friend and a real New Yorker, a working-class New Yorker, Paul Vallone, who transitioned. 
It really impacted all of us that knew him and his dad. His dad was the speaker for many years, well respected. His dad would always joke about each night, no matter how busy he was, he would get home for dinner with the family. They were real, they are a real working class family. And so we just want to take a moment in remembrance of our friend and colleague, Paul Vallone. 
Thank you very much. You know, we have talked a lot these last few days about policing and public safety for the last two weeks. And as I indicated in my State of the City, really my administration started out with a very painful moment in the city and it really impacted me in the beginning, losing Officer Mora and Officer Rivera. Standing at a hospital watching their loved ones walk through the doors and just hearing the sound of, you know, oh, God, please tell me it's not true. 
His family members were just showing this level of pain that I remember Commissioner Sewell and I just felt the weight of that day, and sitting in my car at the end of the day just thinking about this journey that we were on and just reinforcing my belief that public safety is crucial to the city. 
Nothing can take away the loss of a loved one, and part of the front pages of The Post today really personify what this is about. We talk about the issues of the bills that we're looking at, both the bill around restraining dangerous people inside jails and the bill around, the interaction bills. 
You know, we use terminology on both those bills that is really not what the bills are about. The solitary confinement bill is incorrect: we don't have solitary confinement in the New York City jail system. And the conversation of how many stops, this bill is not about stops. This bill is about interactions, credible interactions. 
And sometimes the terminologies that are used hijacks the entire conversation around this. And I've heard many people say that the interactions take seconds. If you talk to a victim of a crime or law enforcement professional, they would tell you, in public safety, seconds matters. 
Anyone who has wrestled with a dangerous person and waiting for help to come, anyone who's tried to disarm someone with a knife, disarm someone with a gun, fighting on the platform or on the road bed of the train or inside an apartment and wrestling with someone that is dangerous, seconds matter. 
And you cannot simply state that we are only talking about seconds. In policing, seconds is the difference between life and death. And that is what I hope to have shown my colleagues when we did the ride‑along. And many of them, after the ride along, pulled me over and stated, this was a real eye opener. 
One job we responded to, a woman was calling for help. The call came over as the woman was being choked on the streets by an unknown suspect. When we arrived at the scene, the officers had to walk up and down the block. Did you see anything? Did you see a woman who was injured?  They had to speak with everyone that's possible. 
Each one of those interactions will require a documentation, guessing the gender of the person, guessing their age, guessing their ethnicity and explaining why did they stop each one of them. This is what we're talking about. 
I support the concept of this bill, I cannot say that enough. What I don't support is using the Level 1s, which on the most conservative numbers, 8.5 million interactions through 311 and 911. The City Council had a good concept, but when you have any type of concept, you have to look at the operationalization of that concept. And that is what I believe the change of hearts, hopefully it would change votes, but the change of hearts from those who were there on the ground seeing what these officers are doing every day. 
And so later today, you will see, as the deputy mayor indicated, the Preliminary Mayor's Management Report is going to come out. We want to continue the success, driving down crime in a real way and improving public safety in the city. Nothing should get in the way of this city being safe. I cannot say that enough. 
And when I sat down and spoke with the mother of Angellyh Yambo, she was shot and killed with a ghost gun in April 2022. It was in the Bronx last April. I was at the street naming, listening to the families and the loved ones who were there. It happened at 1:40 p.m. 
And for 32 hours, police officers worked around the clock speaking with hundreds of people, asking them information; and because of that, we were able to handcuff the perpetrator at 10:00 p.m. the following night. It was a lot of work. Every second we would have taken from finding the bad guy instead of filing reports would have left that bad guy on the street more time than we needed. 
If Intro. 586 had been in effect, the search could have taken far longer. And that's what this is about and that's why I spent time with her mom, Yanely, this morning. And she still talks about this, but she has turned her pain into purpose and we want to continue to fight to make sure mothers do not go through this. 
So, as I said, the council's goal of increasing transparency in government, I believe in it, I believe it 100 percent. This is my life's work. This is what I have committed myself to do. But at the same time that I talk about transparency, I talk about public safety. 
We can have public safety and justice, they can coexist. I said this on the campaign trail, I said it with 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, and I'm saying it now as the mayor of the City of New York. 
And so I'm urging the council to uphold the veto today and to spend some time of correcting the area of the bill, the only area of the bill that I have a disagreement on, and that is the Level 1 stops. Some would say that, again, that we are only talking about seconds. That is just not true. We're talking about lives here, and those lives are something, those are the lives that we are sworn to serve and protect. 
And I want to just show you, when we were on the street Saturday, a short video of being on the streets on Saturday with the councilmembers when we responded to one of the jobs. We responded to several jobs that night, and one of the jobs just showed you how much time is used when you are on the street doing this job. 
We had a job where a person was wanted for a robbery. Those who were out that night, the individual mounted a sidewalk to try to flee away because he was stuck in traffic, had no regard for the people walking the streets. We were unsure if he was armed with a gun. 
We had the vehicle cornered and the officers responded and they had to walk the streets. Because now if you have a suspicion that a firearm is involved, you have to now walk the street and ask everyone there, did you see something? Did you see a gun? Did you see where the gun was tossed? You have a series of information that you have to receive and question and inquire.  
[Video plays.] 
Mayor Adams: And that's the key here. You saw the officer on the ground with the flashlight. That was from the first job where there was the robbery suspect. You have to get out there, find that gun. You don't want to leave that gun on the street. You have to speak with as many people as possible. Did you see the gun tossed? Do you know where it is? All of those encounters is what we are talking about. 
I don't believe the City Council wanted those type of interactions to be documented, and that is what needs to be corrected. And I'm hoping they will allow the veto to stand and fix that part of the bill. And in the worst case scenario, we need to move forward with amending the bill. And so we'll open up to some questions at this time. 
Question: Yes. Mr. Mayor, so if this becomes law, two things. How do you perceive this getting documented? Would it still be by the form or would there be another way electronically, digitally for, you know, to reduce time that the officers spend on it? And number two, how will any documentation be verified or checked for accuracy? Will everything be on the body‑worn cameras, even the Level 1s, or is there another way to verify the information? 
Mayor Adams: And that is what the Police Department immediately after whatever happens in the council today, the Police Department has already started some preliminary thoughts on how to move forward with this. They would kick in gear. 
There's a few months before it actually is going to be implemented; and in those months, if the bill was to move forward, one thing, we have to draft out how to do it. The second thing is we need to really engage with a process of encouraging the councilmembers to amend. 
And some councilmembers that I spoke with stated that as they explain their votes, they're going to be talking about how do we get the results we're looking for. 
Question: Hi. Good morning, Mr. Mayor. Good morning, team. Good morning, everyone. So, Mr. Mayor, as we’re talking about the How Many Stops Act, I had Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on my talk show, The Reset Show last Friday. And he spoke that he said that you, this is what you ran on. 
But when I countered him and I said, well, I sat with the mayor in the press conference and he stated once we were able to adjust the Level 1 or come to some common ground, he would sign off on it. I further went on to ask him if he would sit with you and police Chief Maddrey and he said, definitely. So, what kind of resolve could we have here? 
Mayor Adams: Yes. And I spoke with the public advocate on Friday, we had a conversation on Friday. I know Chief Maddrey has been communicating as well. And I believe that thanks to further deliberation and thoughts and doing the ride‑along, speaking with other law enforcement personnel, I think there's a pathway to sit down and get the results that we're looking for. 
And I think that people are attempting to rewrite my history. I never ran on getting in the way of public safety. If you go back and look at all of my speeches, all of my commentary, public safety and justice. I said this at the debates, I said it when I rolled out initiatives, public safety and justice. You can't have just public safety, you can't have just justice. You have to make sure that we have both, that's the balance. That's what I ran on. 
And I will never do anything or support anything that's going to erode public safety in the city. And my message has been clear. I have been the most transparent, consistent messenger around this throughout my entire life in public service. And I'm going to continue to do that. This city must be a safe city. 
Question: Hi, Mayor Adams. 
Mayor Adams: How are you doing? 
Question: I'm good, thanks. I know you said earlier that you think the ride‑along maybe changed some hearts, but I know upstairs they only count the votes. So, I'm curious if looking back at your approach, whether it was your intergov team and the communications your office had with the council when they were initially negotiating this bill and voted on it. Do you have any regrets that maybe you should have done more before they took the vote so it wouldn't take on this override, which from all indications, it appears that they will override the veto today. Do you think you should have spoken to them earlier or done a PR campaign sooner? 
Mayor Adams: You never just try to do public conversations. Tiffany and IGA and Ingrid has weighed in with her relationships in the council. Our entire team attempted… Mike Gerber over at the Deputy Commissioner of Legal, my counsel here weighed in. 
And what I believe happened, they thought it was just, you know, the administrations were trying to be technocrats. And then once the public started to hear about this, I think there was a lot of advocacy. 
And you know, there are passions on both sides of these issues. Clear, trust me, I've been in this space for a long time and their passion on both sides of the issues. Even after Councilman Salaam was stopped, there was a big outcry of saying, okay, see?  We need a Level 1 stops. And we said, hold on here. That was documented. That was video. There was a report that was done. 
So, when you're dealing with policing, there's so much emotion and people believe that even what they're calling for is not in place already, and it is. And I think some of the councilpersons, you know, examined that. They saw it. But we were very much engaged. We were attempting to roll it out. 
And I think that if I could take one thing I would have done differently, we would have done ride alongs sooner. And I'm going to really implore this into not only ride‑along with policing, but we need to do, you know, we need to be in schools and seeing what our teachers are doing before we make policy changes. We need to be in hospitals. We have to really have more class trips to say, we're getting ready to pass a bill, how do we go out there and see how this plays out on the ground. 
Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor, I actually…  
Mayor Adams: How are you? 
Question: Good, thanks. I had a question about the MyCity app. When you, like, when you first took office, some folks in your administration like Matt Fraser had sort of implied that most of the work on that app would be done in‑house by the city, but instead, you've signed a lot of contracts. 
We just did an analysis. It's something like more than 50 now with outside companies that are building out the next stages of that app. And it's cost something like $16 million. Why have you chosen that route especially given that some experts think that this is sort of a wasted opportunity to build up tech capacity within the city? 
Mayor Adams: Good question. The biggest challenge we are having when we were hiring, because now we have a hiring freeze, were tech workers. That is one of the fields where people are able to work remotely. And to get the product we're looking for, we have to have the expertise in the industry. 
And you're finding that even my tech industry folks are saying, hey, we're having a problem getting employees. People are working remotely, and this has become extremely competitive. If you don't come with a product with tech workers, for the most part, the highly skilled ones and say you are going to have a real flexibility, you are not going to get them. That's a very difficult field to recruit from. And then you add to the fact that we can't hire right now because we're dealing with some fiscal restraints. 
We would love to have done this in‑house completely, but it's a combination of not having those experts to get the qualitative product we're looking for. Matt has done a great job with the team that he has, but there's a lot of expertise in a private market that we had to get. 
First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright: And if I can also just add. Certainly, we want to leverage existing technology. We don't want to recreate the wheel. So, Matt has just been very focused on really being as efficient and effective as possible as we build this important technology. 
Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor. How are you today? 
Mayor Adams: Good. How are you doing? 
Question: Just fine. So, just following up on How Many Stops Act, obviously. So, City Hall and the NYPD walked away from the council about last November, I think, give or take. The City Hall and NYPD were against Level 1 stops overall. So, why was there no compromise made since the NYPD is already logging the Level 1s just not demographic detail? So, why wasn't there any compromise struck on that? And the back and forth and just trying to sway these votes here, have you personally reached out to any councilmembers and why or why not? 
Mayor Adams: Yes, I have. I spoke with several council men and women about this. We had some good conversations and it was clear to me that their hearts were in the right place. You know, it was clear to me that, you know, many of them, you know, grew up watching me. Many of them would tell you, you know, as I was just saying about JR, Jumaane said, this is, you know, this is who Eric is. 
Many of these council people who are in office right now, you know, I knew Selvena Brooks‑Powers when she was in the senate. They've watched me. They know what I stand for. They know what I believe in. It is very clear. I don't think any New Yorker has to wonder where does Eric line up on public safety and justice. 
And so many of them reflected on it and they said, you know, we watched you for years, this is something you advocated for. And the lack of clarity with terminologies is what I think we had to do more and we got to continue to impress upon people. 
And so we've done many conversations and I've had one‑on‑one with them. And I personally believe that if many of them were able to vote with their hearts, we'll get different outcomes. You know, I've been in the legislative body. I understand when the call is to line up together. That's just the reality of government. 
But we also have an opportunity. I hope that we don't override the bill, but there's an opportunity, if we do, to come back and amend the bill to get the product that we want. 
Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg: Mayor, can I just jump in…  
Mayor Adams: Yes. 
Zornberg: ...real quick? 
Mayor Adams: Yes. 
Zornberg: The premise of the question is a little inaccurate in that what it overlooks is that the NYPD and the city in its engagement with the City Council has been saying for many months that a reasonable compromise — which was already put on the table, the mayor supports it, the NYPD supports it — is including Level 2's in the reporting requirements in the bill and including Level 1's that escalate to Level 2's and 3's in the bill. 
So, you know, it takes two to tango. The City Council really needed to meet us halfway or somewhere on the Level 1 encounters, which are not even stops and that pose unique challenges in the magnitude of millions, not thousands. 
So, in terms of trying to negotiate compromise, that was ongoing for months, and the city has been incredibly transparent and open in saying, we agree with all of the aspects of the bill except this one aspect. 
Question: Well, just to follow up. You Level 1's, though, every time it was struck out. So, that's what I'm saying. Was it ever offered from City Hall or NYPD that just an overall count of Level 1's, because they already logged those. 
Mayor Adams: I'm sorry, an overall…  
Question: Overall count of Level 1 encounters. Like so if a cop goes out and they have 60 Level s, they log 60 Level 1s, no demographic information, because that's what they're logging in their body‑worn cameras now. 
Mayor Adams: Right. But I'm not understanding. 
Question: Was there any…  When you're negotiating this back and forth, and really the issue here clearly is the crux of Level 1 stops. So, was there an ever offer to the council, hey, we will give you an overall number of the Level 1 stops, but we just cannot collect the demographic information? 
Zornberg: What I think we can say is that there have been months of dialogue at various levels involving IGA, involving NYPD, involving others. 
And where we are now is that we're heartened, for example, by the public advocate saying that he's willing to come to the table and have further discussions. And we're heartened, and you know, the view is that the veto should stand and let's get to the table as soon as possible. And if there's further dialogue or compromise to be reached, let's reach it. 
Mayor Adams: And you know, and those private conversations are so crucial, so we're not going to dig into those private conversations because it's important to keep that relationship tight. But there's one aspect of the bill that I've never witnessed in policing before where you're reporting is involving guessing the ethnicity, guessing the gender, guessing the age. 
As I stated when we went out on the road, my understanding is there's an officer right now who has a CCRB complaint because he improperly guessed the gender of someone. People are really sensitive nowadays about guessing, you know, who they are. 
Like, you know, I'm not happy when people don't realize I'm not 30 and they guess me to be older than that, you know? But you know, seriously. That built in is it could be used later in court, it could be used later if the officer didn't properly identify, and then people will file CCRBs because of your improper guessing. That's just not how policing works. 
Question: Mr. Mayor, so Jumaane has said that taking Level 's out would essentially gut the bill. You know, I know he said he's willing to come to the table, but I guess what kind of compromise can be reached if this one point can't be, you know, decided on between the two sides? 
Mayor Adams: I don't think it guts the bill, and we are going to engage in conversation to show him how it does not gut the bill. We need clarity on exactly what their desires are and we can get there without, as he said, gutting the bill. If we come there with the real open mind of public safety, transparency and justice, I believe we can land this plane that New Yorkers would be safe. It would be a safe landing. 
Question: Just to follow‑up on Ethan's question. As I understand the proponents of the bill's argument among others is that when you omit Level 1 stops, you're not addressing one of the criticisms of the way you're tracking stops now, which is that stops are inadequately tracked, right?  So, a stop that should be tracked is not being tracked, so their idea is you track everything. So, how does that address that point? 
And if I could just ask a follow‑up. Over the weekend, you released a police report and a body cam footage of the stop of Councilman Salaam, which was great. Will you commit to releasing that sort of thing going forward when members of the public or the press ask for that; or, only when it's favorable to the administration? 
Mayor Adams: Okay. I think that was, you were rolling very well until you got to the point of only when it was favorable to the administration… You know, you were doing an amazing job there for a moment. 
So, let's peel back the layers. The first thing is that I don't believe that the City Council is asking for Level 1 stops when Officer Lee is looking for someone's mother with dementia. I don't believe that's what they want. 
They want to see Level 1 stops that escalates to a Level 2 and a Level 3. I believe that's what they want. They want to make sure those types of stops are documented. 
Question: Apparently not, because they won't compromise. They think all stops need to be documented, or all encounters, I should say. 
Mayor Adams: No. In my conversation and, you know, I'm not going to go into the depth of those conversations, but in my conversations, and I peel back each layer, I'm hearing exactly what they want. And you know, there's been conversations on, we could do a group reporting. 
So, there's been some different conversations. And the feeling is that the bill was already vetoed. We have to take actions on the veto. And if they take action that is going to veto the bill which I… That's going to override the veto, which I hope they don't, I think there's room to really understand how they can get what they want. 
Now, in the area of releasing the video, some videos, you still have an investigation taking place. You never want to compromise an investigation. And so in this case, for the interest of justice, we had a City Councilmember who was stopped. We had a police officer who was engaged. 
And I am really surprised at the response of people. This was a picture‑perfect stop. This is what I taught what to do when stopped by the police. I taught young people. I taught adults. That councilman carried out exactly what we instructed people to do. That officer carried out exactly. 
That officer came to the car, he identified himself, the councilperson identified himself. He told the people to roll down the back window in the car. Because car stops are one of the most dangerous jobs a police officer can go on, and being stopped by the police is one of the most stressful. Seeing those lights in the back? When I was a police officer and those lights come on in the back, my heart rate started going. 
So, we had two stressful situations, and the key to a car stop is de‑escalation. How do you bring down the temperature? They both did that. Hi, I'm police officer so‑and‑so; hi, I'm councilman so‑and‑so. The de‑escalation went down. That is what we saw on that video. 
And I'm amazed that everyone is not really applauding us for coming this far. We've come a long way from when I remember my beginning years of policing. You did not want to hear some of the things that were said when there was a car stop, on both sides. 
Question: Can I just follow up…  
Mayor Adams: No, no, let… Let him finish. I like his questions. 
Question: Why should he get a break for apparently an illegal tint. Would John Q Public get a break?  And shouldn't there be a rule? Why should a councilman get a break for an illegal tint, potentially having plates that are from Georgia when he lives here, when a member of the public who isn't a councilman doesn't get a break? 
Mayor Adams: Well, I don't know if the officer stopped him because he had plates from Georgia. Of my understanding, he stopped him because the windows were tinted darker than they were. And I heard the…  
Question: And he let him go. 
Mayor Adams: Huh? 
Question: And he let him go. 
Mayor Adams: Yes. And officers are allowed to exercise discretion for minor vehicle infractions. We do it all the time. A taillight is out, sir, you need to get this fixed. You need to get the windows corrected. It happens all…  
Question: [Inaudible.] 
Mayor Adams: Yes, but hold on. It happens all the time using the power of discretion. And the officer was very clear. I don't know if many people picked up on it. He says, are you working? And the councilman said, yes. 
And so I thought he showed the necessary courtesy of saying that, you know, let this council person do his job. I'm not going to interfere with him doing his job. And so I just think the officer did, you know, we should be really proud of both of them for what they did. 
And I'm going to continue to say that. If we have other… If all of our department acts in that manner and all of our civilians who are stopped act in that manner, we are going to continue to build the trust that we are looking for in the police department. 
Question: Hi. Hello, mayor. How are you? 
Mayor Adams: Yes, how are you? 
Question: Good, good. How are you? Okay. So, the New York State, there's a report today, the New York State is, they have an eye to change the rules of hire of thousands of migrants in New York State opening [that]. 
So, is there anything New York City is thinking in that same way that New York City is thinking to hire migrant people in the entry level? And then you told in the morning that there is a room for compromise on police stuff. So, from your side, what is the compromising? I mean, what [inaudible] do you have? 
Mayor Adams: Yes. And firstly, the compromise, as I mentioned earlier, the types of Level 1 stops. Level 1 stops that escalate to a Level 2, Level 3 in arrest or summons, that should be accounted for. But if we're talking about Level 1 stops, as I stated, looking for a missing child, looking for a missing dog. You know, I responded to jobs that someone said, you know, I'm looking for Spotty, you know?  
So, everyone that I ask, hey, did you see this dog, should it turn into now I'm reporting? And do I create this tension between police and community, you know, why are you stopping me? Why are you writing down or jotting down what I'm saying? 
You know, real policing, people are very sensitive. A police officer stops them and makes a simple inquiry, have you seen this lost person, and they start taking notes? People are like, what are you writing down? You know, you asked me a question, what is this about? You know, you don't want to erode the trust that we have built in the city with now our department is probably the most diverse it has ever been. Let's continue the success that we had. 
I'm going through what the governor announced. We need to find a creative place and way that we've stated over and over again about allowing people to work. Like we have a lifeguard shortage. I would love to use migrants and asylum seekers to help with the lifeguard shortage. We've been successful to get almost 30,000 people, the total application including work authorization, asylum and TPS. 
We want more. People need to work. Nothing is more anti‑American than not having the right to work. And I think what the governor's attempted to do, if it's accurate, is to find creative ways to do so. I applaud her. 
And I know Deputy Mayor Williams‑Isom has tried many ways of seeing how we could get people to volunteer, give them a stipend, what could we do to allow people to work so they're not sitting around all day every day. 
Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom, Health and Human Services : Yes, I was just going to add that we had looked at that a couple of months ago about ways to see if there was ways to have a New York City / New York State work permit. So, we're really anxious to see where this leads. 
We know that they have a fact finding committee right now that is looking at this to see if there's ways that they can use some of the civil service titles and give some relief to that so that they can have some entry‑level migrants apply for some of those positions. 
So, we are anxiously awaiting to see what will happen. We're always excited for people to come up with innovative ways. We're also looking forward to the state continuing to work with us to resettle families. So, all of that is on the table and this is good news. 
Zornberg: Just to add very briefly as a legal matter. According to the statement put out by the governor's office, the plan — which is exciting — that they're looking into launching would still require migrants to have received federal work authorization. And so the impetus still really is here on the federal government to provide those federal work authorizations as soon as possible. 
And once a migrant receives federal work authorization, they can be hired by anyone, by any private employer, any public employer. So, that's what federal authorization opens the door to. But wanted to make sure you understood that. 
Question: Thank you. So, Mr. Mayor, I know that you said you don't want to get into detail about, you know, your personal conversations with the council and whatnot. But you said that the City Council wanted some of, doesn't even want some of these interactions to be documented. Are you saying…  
Mayor Adams: I'm sorry. Repeat. 
Question: You had said that you don't even believe that the City Council wanted some of these types of interactions documented. Nevertheless, that's what their bill would require, right? 
Mayor Adams: Mm‑hmm. 
Question: So, are you saying that the City Council doesn't understand their own bill? And I have one other question, which is basically, yes, the officer may have wanted to look the other way to enable Councilmember Salaam to do his work, but would an officer have done that for someone doing a different type of work? And isn't the underlying concern here under this entire debate that people want the NYPD to treat people the same? 
Mayor Adams: Yes. And words matter. You said something that's very powerful. You said look the other way. He did not look the other way. He did the necessary stop. 
And like I said, I've done that many times in my policing career. I would find someone with a broken taillight and I would pull them over, for example, I see they're with their family. They may be going somewhere. I can see that the family may look a little traumatized. Being stopped by a police vehicle could be traumatized. And I would say, sir, have a nice day. 
And it matters. It matters. Showing that level of human interaction like that officer did matters. And you know, I can't put myself in the head of that officer who was there. You know, his desire to do the right thing. Anyone can look back later and say, well, why didn't he do this and why did he do that? 
You just de‑escalated a situation. This is real time. You didn't know what you had. You saw tinted windows. You pull someone over. Your heart is racing. And we could critique his actions. We could look back over later. And sometimes you go back and you look at the tapes and you say, oh, maybe I could have done that differently. 
All I know is that police officer that approached his car wanted to do the right thing by that councilman and for that community. That's what I know. That's what I saw, and I'm glad we have police officers like him on patrol. 
And so I believe the council persons understood their bill. We went back to Albany to redo the bail reform bill. We are looking to redo the cannabis bill. When you are a law maker or a legislator, and I have been up there and I know what it is to make a law, you make a law and sometimes you start looking into the crevices of it and say, wait a minute, could we do this differently? 
And more and more conversations get you there. And we have amended bills before. We have changed directions, we have renewed bills before. And I think that's where we are now. The more and more we talk about it, more and more people get engaged, you're hearing from your constituencies, you start to say, okay, let's look at this. 
And then you have experiences. I think that the ride‑along, the council people that came to me and said, listen, this was an eye opener for me. And that happens. And thank God we are not so rigid to say, I'm not willing to think differently. And I think it's commendable when we're able to do that. 
Ingrid Lewis‑Martin, Chief Advisor to the Mayor: Melissa, Melissa, let me just say something. With the Level 1 encounters, that's a scenario where the police officer is our friend. Do you remember back in the days when the police officer was our friend? We're talking about encounters where the police officer is actually doing a good humankind service, where the police officer is helping someone. 
So, it's not a situation where the police officer is stopping someone because the person has done something illegal. The police officer may stop someone in order to help a citizen who is in distress or who is in need. Those are the type of encounters that we don't believe the City Council would need documented, because this is a more user‑friendly notion. 
Mayor Adams: And it's not a stop. I'm going to let you finish, Melissa, but what has really been, we played with words on both of these bills. We played with words on the "stop," because stop is really emotional, particularly in the Black and Brown communities that went through the stop and frisk era. So, using the word "stop" is an emotional word. 
This is not a stop, this is an interaction. That person is free to leave. Looking for a missing person, a child, missing child and saying, did you see this child?  That's not a stop. A stop is you not free to leave. 
And then we use the term of solitary confinement. These are emotional terms. We don't have solitary confinement. We should never have solitary confinement in our system. 
So, you use these emotional terms that people see these horror images instead of the accuracy of the bills. This is an interaction with the public. And our stops Level 2s and 3s, we document them, and I support that call. 
Question: Mr. Mayor, you've said that lives are at stake here, though. So, how do you want New Yorkers to process what you seem to be saying, which is that this is not just a disagreement, you're saying it's also a misunderstanding? 
Mayor Adams: Yes, because what many people… The uniqueness of this moment is that we have a mayor that has not only been an advocate for this, I've been the leading voice on this. 
So, I'm not only an advocate, I'm a mayor that did this job. There isn't another mayor in history that I can think of that actually have been on the streets doing these interactions and also advocated to improve on how these interactions are done. 
So, this is a unique moment that we are in, and that's why I think Councilman Yusef Salaam brings a unique perspective. I bring those perspectives, and every other mayor had to turn to their police commissioner and say, hey, I need you to figure this out. 
I don't have to turn to my police commissioner to say, I need you to figure this out. I have been a captain, a transit police officer. I rode those trains alone. I know what those interactions look like of communicating with people. And so that uniqueness allowed me to come from a place of something that many people don't realize, experience. 
Question: Good morning. 
Mayor Adams: How are you? 
Question: I'm good. I'm going to switch topics real quick to education. The last public hearing for mayoral control is today on Staten Island. Just wondering your final thoughts considering most people testified against mayoral control. 
Mayor Adams: And that's interesting. There were only a limited number of people who can testify, number one. We have almost a million parents in our city. If you have, let's just say a good day, you have anywhere from 50 to 100 people who testify, is that a proportion of the number of the New Yorkers in the city? I don't think so. 
I'm not a mathematical genius, but having five testimonies or hearings and at most you got 500 people, that's not a reflection of our school system. So, parents, we are asking folks to write in. We're asking folks to share their beliefs. There's only one thing that's factual: we're outpacing the state in reading and writing. We have a public school-reared chancellor, public school-reared mayor. 
We have transformed the school system in what we are doing, and I think we need to continue the success. If we were failing, then we have to deal with the negative outcomes. But we are winning. We are succeeding in what we're doing, everything from Summer Rising to healthy food in schools to our career development program, they are just real Ws we are putting up. 
And so what I think the governor was right of including the four years in her budget, I believe that, you know, some of the City Councilmembers that have, I mean, some of the assembly and senators I've been speaking with stated that, you know, they believe we should retain control. We have not had a chancellor that has been more communicative and transparent like this chancellor has been. 
And so, yes, you get, in this business, the most energy is around those who are concerned about something. When you listen to the hearings, they're talking about previous administrations. They're talking about what happened under a previous administration. Pick apart the hearings, and you'll see they're talking about what happened under other mayors. It's not what happened under this administration. 
And I'm hoping that when the report comes out, it won't only look at those who were the most anti [inaudible] came up early and signed up early, but they will look at the totality of all those who see the success that we've had of mayor governance and school accountability. 
So, you know, math and reading skills are up, the racial discrepancies are down, enrollment is up. This is a real W. We've done a good job with the school system. Hats off to Chancellor Banks. 
Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor. 
Mayor Adams: How are you? 
Question: Good. So, supporters of the bill have pointed to data that shows that there are still unconstitutional stops that are happening. And they pointed to a report as recently as last year. I'd like to ask you, given the breadth of your experience in the force, and also watching it up close as mayor, do you think that racist tactics among police officers is still happening today?  And what do you think is the solution to address it? 
Mayor Adams: Well, listen, anyone who believes that isms don't still exist in our society is, you know, really have their heads in the sand. Isms exist, you know: antisemitism, racism, Islamophobia, you know, denials of women of moving forward in society, that's why we rolled out our Women Forward Plan. 
They all exist, because we're human beings. We recruit from society. If you recruit from society. you're going to bring in those isms. What we must do, identify them quickly in areas that we correct behavior, we need to do so immediately. 
In areas where we don't believe a person is suitable after their probationary period based on their actions to be a police officer we should move forward and have them removed from the department. And that's what you're seeing when we're cutting down the amount of time that we're reviewing those officers that are having some real disciplinary issues. 
But again, these are not stops. This is the missing child, missing parent who has dementia. This is like Chief Maddrey said, someone finished the marathon, hey, are you okay, can I help you? You know, are you all right? This is what we're talking about. 
What the council has been talking about is dealing with those issues particularly around criminal investigation, unfortunate, inappropriate interaction. We need to identify those officers that are doing that, retrain or remove. But nothing about taking these officers and use those seconds, as they call it, to take those seconds away from finding bad people and protecting the city. That is my fear. 8.3 million 911/311 calls. It's only the tip of the iceberg of the amount of interactions officers do every day. 
Question: Thank you. It's been striking how much effort you've put in publicizing these bills after they were passed and after you vetoed them. You ran for office on, you know, bringing down crime. Do you anticipate incorporating these issues into your reelection campaign? 
Mayor Adams: I don't understand. Say that again? 
Question: Do you anticipate including or focusing on these issues on council's stance versus your own into your reelection campaign? 
Mayor Adams: No, no, no. This is not about a reelection. This is about protection. I don't want innocent people harmed in this city, and the passion you see in this area is the same passion I get from Deputy Mayor Williams‑Isom when she talks about children, same passion I get from my special counsel when she talk about fair laws and how do we get it right. 
This is an administration of people who have lived their life's work. Public safety is my life work. And I'm seeing all that we've tried to build the relationships with police and community, all that we've tried to bring down crime and the success that we've shown, that is what you're seeing. 
And that is why you see this level of engagement. We can't go backwards. We can't go backwards in building relationships with our police and our communities, and we can't go backwards in keeping our community safe. So, this is not about am I looking for the platform for my reelection. That platform has already been. 
If you want to know what platform I'm going to use for my reelection, go see the platform I ran on for my election. It's the same thing: public safety, rebuilding our economy, invest in working class people. There's no magic here. There's no sleight of hands. I'm the same guy that I've been when I took the oath of office as a police officer. 
Go back and Google me. I'm the same boring guy: safety, families, working‑class people. That's who I've always been. Never change. And that's the same thing I ran on and that's the same thing I'm going to run on. 
Zornberg: Just to go back to Liz's question, there's some information that I think is important also for the public to have, and that is that stop and frisks are down in New York City by approximately 97 percent compared with 10 years ago. 
And there was a mention also of a federal monitor report. Just for clarification, the federal monitor who works with the NYPD focuses on stop and frisks, which are Level 3 and Level 4 where reporting is already done. The federal monitor does not regulate Level 1 encounters, you know, those kinds of non‑criminal inquiries that we are talking about. So, those are just two pieces of information that came up in your question I thought you would want to have. 
Mayor Adams: That's so important. And you know, stop and frisk reports in the last 10 years are down [97] percent. That's my work. I'm the one that testified in federal court, and the judge mentioned me in her decision. I'm the one that went to Albany and got the quota bill stopped with now Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. I'm the one that sat down with the current monitor to talk about when they were in the AG's office under AG Cuomo. 
You see that drop because of the advocacy of Reverend Sharpton, 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, all of these advocates. We joined together to say this was wrong, what was happening in the city. So, you don't advocate for something your entire adult life and then become the mayor and take us backwards. That's just not even logical. 
The same person that testified in federal court is the person who's sitting here now as the mayor saying we're not going to have a police department that's abusive. 
Question: Mr. Mayor, good afternoon. 
Mayor Adams: How are you? 
Question: I have a question, different topic. New York City Women Forward Agenda. Can you talk specifically about opportunities that it holds for entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, but in the ethnic communities? Is that going to be addressed separately? Is there any specific plans for that area? 
Mayor Adams: You want to…  
First Deputy Mayor Wright: Yes, sure, I can speak on it. Deputy Mayor Maria Torres‑Springer's actually in Albany trying to fight for our housing package as we move forward. But we have a huge focus particularly on MWBE, minority women business entrepreneurs. Last year, it was a record breaking $6 billion investment from the city into those MWBEs and we're going to continue to grow that. And so women, women of color are a big, big focus of this administration in terms of economic opportunity and business opportunity. 
Question: Thank you. Hi, Mr. Mayor. 
Mayor Adams: How are you? 
Question: Good, how are you? I know that you hope to find a opportunity to amend the bill if the override does pass, the How Many Stops Act. If there's not further compromise to be found, if the council is more rigid than you think they are on this bill, will you commit to the NYPD implementing this as it's written? 
Mayor Adams: I've probably… You know, I have a lot of one‑liners, but probably…  
Question: [Inaudible.] 
Mayor Adams: But probably the one‑liner that I say the most, we're going to follow the law. You know. I did, I am doing and I did my part. My part is to do an analysis of any law that comes, any bill that comes out of the City Council, any law, is to determine if it's good or bad for the city. And then after that determination, to veto or just don't take any action at all, and then it's up to the City Council to do their part. 
And you know, listen, our democracy is a great experience. It should not be one‑sided. I should not have the final say‑so and determination. This balance of power is what makes our city and our country great, and I respect the system. 
We are going to follow the law. This administration is going to live by that, and I'm going to continue to state that. So, the charter lays out the role of the mayor and the City Council. We don't have to agree all the time. There are times we don't. 
And many bills come through the City Council. I've stood in the corner right over there to sign many of the bills that have come through the City Council. So, it's not like we don't find common ground often, but if the override is done, I'm going to follow the law and I'm going to continue to move forward enacting the rules that we need to govern the city by. 
Question: Can I just follow on that? The council says that the city is not implementing the other recent bill that was vetoed and then overridden, the expansion of CityFHEPS vouchers, and it's threatened a lawsuit for not implementing that. I mean, how do you respond to that if you're following the law? 
Mayor Adams: Because we believe that it was illegal what was done and the corp counsel is now looking at the legality of that, and we after we exhaust whatever options we have, then we will make that determination. But we're going to exhaust every option that we have available to us. 
Question: Hey, Mr. Mayor. How are you doing? 
Mayor Adams: Quite well. 
Question: So, a couple of things on the stop of Councilman Salaam. From what I could tell on that audio, a warning was never issued. I mean, the officer didn't say, hey, you know, you, you've got tint here. I see the Georgia plates. I know down south, maybe, you know, with the sun and everything, but maybe you should change it in New York. Right? 
So, first question is, should the officer have said, look, like given like an explicit warning, like this is why I'm pulling you over, and in the future, like you should consider this because it could be a problem for you? 
The second question is, a colleague told me, my understanding is upstairs, that Councilman Yeger basically stated that the meeting or hearing, I'm not sure what terminology we're using for it on the first stated, is invalid because of a public noticing mishap of some sort. 
So, I'm wondering, were you aware that that was kind of in play? Are you in favor of kind of like that tactic? It seems to me like that tactic is being used to kind of slow things down or stop this. 
And one more question, if you will. I'm trying to, this is unrelated. My understanding is Rana Abbasova is on leave from the administration. Is she on unpaid or paid leave? That's not been clear to me. 
Mayor Adams: Okay, and I'll let the counsel, will answer that, that question, your last question. 
But I'm not clear on what the council person was talking about when he stated the hearing aspect. And we're not looking for ways to delay, to slow down, you know, government must move forward, and so that's not our goal. Our goal is not to play, you know, sort of tricks on how to delay anything. 
We're going to allow the council to do their job. I have a great deal of respect for Speaker Adrienne Adams, as I have stated many times. We just disagree on this aspect of it. Let it run its course. 
In the area of — I cannot say this enough, and I'm trying my best to articulate it — but in the area of doing these police interactions such as that car stop, because I looked at the video and I spoke with the officers, I spoke to both the officers involved and I spoke to Councilman Salaam as well. When you are out there and you're taking that action of car stops, one of the most dangerous jobs, domestic violence and car stops, believe it or not, are two of the most dangerous jobs a police officer can do. 
When you turn on that lights and siren, you pull that car over, your heart is racing. You just want to see what you got and you want to de‑escalate as much as possible. And I don't know what was in the mind of that officer. When I looked at it, and I looked at that video over and over again, but it could be just a mere relief that, hey, I don't have a crime here. I don't have anything here. And just getting back to patrol. 
So, could someone say, well, why didn't you do A, B, C and D? Yes. Yes, you could always say that. But the real work and the real life of policing is different than what you see on Hill Street Blues. This stuff is real, folks. You know, part of your mind is I just want to get back in the vehicle, man. You know, I didn't have anybody with a gun. I didn't have something dangerous. 
You know, I'm going to go and bring my heart down a little, you know?  And I want to help this person that I just pulled over as quickly as possible to go with his family, you know, because now that you rolled down the windows, I'm dealing with a family situation here. There's a whole lot that you're doing that's basically saying, I'm just trying to correct the condition to the best way possible. 
And that's what I think, if I was the officer, and I can't predict for him, but that's what I think goes through your mind. I didn't have a dangerous situation, because, and that's why I told the Police Department we need to release more and more of the videos when they go after some of these dangerous encounters. 
We don't know what that officer did before he got there. He could have been part of a car pursuit. He could have heard over the radio, shots fired of a tinted window. We don't know all that goes into that encounter. 
And those officers out there, after they take this action from the comfort of our officer home, we pick apart the 40 seconds and we say, well, why didn't he do this? Why didn't he do that? That's just not real policing. That's just not how it's done. 
And we need to give these men and women who put on that bulletproof vest and run towards danger for us, we need to really start saying, job well done. Job well done. And that's what I saw, and that's why I wanted to call those officers and tell them thank you, and that's why I reached out to the council person and told him, thank you. You showed what's best about our city. 
Zornberg: For now what I can say is that Ms. Abbasova continues to be on a leave of absence. What I want to do before giving any sort of further response is just check with our HR department as to whether that's the type of information that I can clarify publicly. And if not, then I won't, and if we can, then I will. But not today, not right now. 
Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor. You know, I hear all the concerns and complaints you have with the How Many Stops Act. What I haven't heard is, you know, do you think that this just makes the job stink? I guess another way to say it is, do cops like being cops these days? Does it just make the job not worth doing? 
Mayor Adams: That's a really good question. You know, the job is hard, and we're seeing an indicator of that across the entire country, we're seeing an indicator of that in law enforcement. DAs tell me they're having a difficult time finding district attorneys because of the overwhelming amount of paperwork and, you know, from discovery that they have to turn over. 
Correction officers, our numbers are at a scary place right now across the country. The numbers are decreasing. All of these arms of public safety, we are really having a problem recruiting individuals in it. And you know, the more and more police officers are removed from catching bad guys, I think it adds to the sort of morale issue that we're facing. 
I think we did a good job of improving morale from my roll calls to giving them the salary that they deserve to being supportive and being out there with the officers. And I think that it helps a lot that, you know, being a former police officer helps a lot. 
But you know, this could continue to erode some of the morale that officers are feeling. No, there is a feeling, you know, that, you know, social media demonize every step that you take. And some of it is because there was just so much distrust that we've had previously. 
But we've done a great job. This police department is not your mom and dad's police department. The diversity is unbelievable. You know, I look at the number from different, Muslims, people from Pakistan, from China, you're seeing more, you know, Spanish‑speaking locales. You're seeing the fraternal organizations. 
You know, this is a very diverse department. Women are now moving up in positions of power. So we've got to continue to do that. But something like this is, I think, it could be more harmful than helpful. 
Question: Mr. Mayor. 
Mayor Adams: How are you? 
Question: Good, thanks. How are you? 
Mayor Adams: Good. 
Question: A sort of related question. The PBA was in federal court yesterday trying to scrap the settlement that was negotiated over like a year and a half to resolve the class action lawsuits, the civil rights lawsuits from the 2020 protests. And their argument is, you know, in terms of that settlement tying police's hands in a way that make officers unsafe. 
And so they were in court quoting you from your statements in December saying that you have some real problems with that settlement as well. And city lawyers were in the sort of weird position of having to say, well, never mind what the mayor said, we're the lawyers for the city and we like the settlement and we think that should go forward. So, just to clarify, do you agree with the PBA that this settlement should be scrapped; and if not, why should it go forward? 
Mayor Adams: Well I made my opinion clear. And what many people don't realize, the corp counsel is the lawyer for the city — not just the mayor, for the city — and they have to represent the views of the city as a whole. And that was a learning experience for me also, you know, but that's the role of the corp counsel. And it's in the charter, it's very clear. 
And I'm a very opinionated mayor. I don't know a lot of people, if a lot of people you realize that, but I am. And what I saw was the misuse and abuse of that decision, I'm just not happy with it. And we're seeing people just really doing things that I think is an abuse of that decision. 
And so I'm going to let the corp counsel represent the city, let them do their thing, and if the PBA wants to use a quote of mine — my quotes are used often throughout the time — they have the right to do so because I said it. 

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