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The head of a New York City police union said he was “optimistic” as a former police captain prepared to take the oath of office as the city’s newest mayor.
Just after midnight, with the arrival of 2022, Eric Adams – who was elected in November – replaced termed-out incumbent Bill de Blasio, who was not a favorite of Patrick Lynch, head of the New York City Police Benevolent Association.
But Lynch sounded upbeat about the incoming Adams administration as he spoke in Times Square with Fox News Digital’s Jennifer Golotko.
“We have a new year coming ahead of us,” Lynch said. “We’re optimistic about a new mayor, a new police commissioner, a new department – that we can take this city back, make it better and hopefully healthier for everyone. Happy new year.”
Adams ran on a largely anti-crime platform after city residents dealt with destructive protests and rioting following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, as increases in street crimes as the societal effects of coronavirus restrictions began to take their toll.
‘Not in my city’
In early December, Adams issued a warning to Black Lives Matter activists and others, if they planned to conduct more disruptive protests in the city.
“Not in my city,” Adams told an audience at a Police Athletic League event. “We’re not going to surrender to those who are saying, ‘We’re going to burn down New York.’”
The comments appeared to be a response to the fiery rhetoric of city BLM leader Hawk Newsome, who previously pledged to fight any Adams plans to revive anti-crime police practices from the past that have been criticized as racist, such as the NYPD’s former “stop and frisk” policy.
But in a November op-ed article, Adams claimed “stop and frisk” was a good policy that was applied incorrectly. He said it was worth reviving if used in a more just way.
“In fact, as American courts have affirmed over many years, stop, question and frisk is a perfectly legal, appropriate and constitutional tool, when used smartly, as opposed to indiscriminately against hundreds of thousands of young Black and Brown men, as it was for years in New York City,” Adams wrote in the New York Daily News. “Not only that, but it is a necessary tool, whereby police approach someone who fits a witness description or otherwise appears to be carrying an illegal weapon.”
‘Back to the criminals’
Union leader Lynch, meanwhile, has long been critical of de Blasio, who just concluded his second and final term as the city’s mayor.
In July 2020, for example, Lynch claimed that de Blasio and other city leaders had “given our city back” to criminals.
“Our city council, our mayor’s office, and the state legislature have handcuffed police officers and given the street back to the criminals,” Lynch told Fox News’ Lawrence Jones on “Hannity” after a night of violence that saw 18 people shot in the city overnight, with at least one person dying.
“They demonize police officers,” Lynch continued, referring to de Blasio and city council officials. “They change the rules, where it’s impossible to do our job, and the criminals take advantage. When a criminal hears from City Hall there’s going to be a ‘soft touch’ on crime, they know exactly what that means. It means there’s a smorgasboard on the street, and we’re going to take advantage of it, and they have.”
In a December appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” the soon-to-depart de Blasio claimed the city had become “much safer” under his leadership – even though NYPD data showed a sharp increase in murders in the last two years.
Fox News’ Jennifer Golotko and Danielle Wallace contributed to this story.