Big Apple mayoral frontrunner Eric Adams is calling for the creation of a new joint task force with federal and state authorities to combat surging city gang violence, after a weekend shooting in Queens left 10 wounded — including seven bystanders.
Adams, the Democratic candidate and likely next mayor, said Sunday that his proposed new agency is needed in “the same way we responded to terrorism in the city with a Joint Terrorism Task Force.”
Speaking at the scene of Saturday night’s shooting in Corona, the retired NYPD captain said the task force would “make sure that we can stop the flow of guns and take down these crews to make sure we send a loud message.
“We are not going to allow our city to be controlled by this level of gun violence,” he said.
He denounced the city’s decision last year to disband the NYPD’s 600-strong anti-crime street unit, which focused on violence and illegal guns.
“We need the anti-gun unit, the plainclothes unit, to send a message that we are not going to have the element of uncertainty, with the element of omnipresence,” said Adams, Brooklyn’s borough president.
“We need a full movement of officers out of desk duty and onto uniformed patrol,” Adams said.
“We need to send a strong message: Not in the New York that we want to raise our children and families in,” the candidate said of the violence.
GOP mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa separately agreed that more cops are needed — while also calling for a renewal of the city’s controversial stop-and-frisk policies.
“If you are not stopping and frisking these young men who are at war with one another, you are guaranteeing that more of them are coming out with loaded guns,” Sliwa said at his own presser at the scene, about one hour after Adams’ appearance.
The NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy was stopped because of concerns that it was racial profiling.
Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, also called for pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reverse state justice-reform mandates that prohibit judges from setting bail for most crimes, letting many suspects free to strike again.
In Saturday’s mass shooting, two gunmen walked up to a group outside the laundromat and opened fire shortly before midnight, while two other suspects followed on mopeds and sped off, police said.
Three suspected members of the Trinitarios were wounded, as were seven bystanders.
Police released surveillance video of the gunmen, who are still on the loose.
City Councilman Franciso Moya, who joined Adams at his press conference, agreed that more has to be done to curb spiking gang violence in the five boroughs.
“This was the epicenter of the pandemic,” he said at the Queens shooting scene. “Let it not be the epicenter of gun violence here in the city of New York.”