Mayor Eric Adams and more than a dozen local clergy leaders gathered at an anti-violence vigil Sunday in Bedford-Stuyvesant to discuss keeping New York City safe when it comes to protests.
“When I saw that video, it felt as though it was a betrayal because these are the same men and women who fought to diversify police departments of all groups,” Adams said.
In Adams’ first public reaction since viewing the horrific video that shows Tyre Nichols being beaten by five Memphis police officers, the retired NYPD captain turned mayor said New York City must stay dedicated to becoming a city where fighting crime and fair policing go hand-in-hand.
What You Need To Know
- Mayor Eric Adams attended an anti-violence vigil Sunday in Bedford-Stuyvesant organized by more than a dozen local clergy leaders
- Adams, who is a retired NYPD captain, said New York City must remain dedicated to becoming a city where fighting crime and fair policing go hand-in-hand
- Adams said when he saw the police body camera video, he felt as though it was a betrayal. He added they are the same men and women who fought to diversify police departments of all groups
“It’s not going to take us off our course,” Adams said. “If anything is going to energize us to continue to be steadfast on what the mission is in front of us to build a city and country where you can have safety and justice.”
Adams began calling for peaceful protests before the video surfaced Friday evening.
“Let’s come together, let’s protest, let’s do it,” said Bishop Gerald Seabrooks from Rehoboth Cathedral, “But let’s keep New York City safe. That’s the message that we want to give and we want to pray.”
While most of the protests in the city since Friday have been peaceful, clergy leaders who organized the vigil noted the singular, violent scene in Times Square Friday night.
A man was arrested after jumping on the roof of a police vehicle and damaging a windshield during the Friday protest.
The actions at Friday’s protest were the type of non-peaceful behavior that clergy leaders said they hope protesters will avoid moving forward.
Their goal Sunday was to remind and discourage anyone who plans to protest in the coming days from committing violence that could lead to physical harm, vandalism, or other damage in local communities.
“The real question is why haven’t we been out here before now?” said Bishop Albert Jamison of Pleasant Grove Tabernacle. “I think the church needs to be in the forefront of this situation. The bible commands us to be in the forefront.”
The clergy leaders who lent their support Sunday received the full support of Adams.
“I cannot thank you enough for coming out and just really lifting your voice in prayer for our city, for our country,” said Adams. “On how we start the process of healing after we have these painful encounters.”
Peaceful protests are what Nichols’ mother and stepfather had both requested from the public.