President Biden Visits NYC to Collaborate with Mayor Adams to Get Guns off the Streets
By Yehudit Garmaise
Mayor Eric Adams strode purposely in the rain to One Police Plaza, on Thursday before meeting with President Joe Biden, who flew to New York City to collaborate with the mayor, who has proposed many fresh ideas to stop what he says, “is a constant flow of guns into our streets.”
The president was scheduled to start the day by watching the daily meeting among the NYPD and leaders of 12 city agency leaders, who Adams has said provide each other with intelligence about guns and crime in the city.
Attorney General Merrick Garland and Gov. Kathy Hochul are also present at the discussions that are exploring how the local, state, and federal governments can combat rising violent crime and crack down on the “iron pipeline,” which is the name for the pathway that illegal guns travel from gun-sellers down south into the hands of criminals in New York City.
The president told Adams that he is committed to working as a strong federal partner for New York City to help fight the increased gun crime of the past two years, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
One way Biden said he could help stop what Adams has called the “constant flow of guns” into New York City, is by providing federal prosecutors to go after illegal gun sellers, which continuously replace the thousands of guns that the NYPD took off the streets last year.
“When you take guns off the streets, it stops someone from getting killed or injured, and we have to go back to that,” Sergeant Joseph Imperatrice, who founded Blue Lives Matter, which advocates on behalf of police, told Ami Magazine.
Mayor Adams and company also will discuss how to stop the proliferation of ghost guns, which are untraceable firearms that are made from kits that are bought online.
After leaving One Police Plaza, the group of elected officials was scheduled to head to a school in Queens, where they will meet with local violence interrupters, people who build positive, helpful relationships with those in crime-ridden neighborhoods who show signs of using guns, to discuss local efforts to stop gun violence.
Adams has said that on-the-ground community efforts to stop crime are crucial to his vision of reducing crime, and President Biden spent many of his 36 years in the Senate supporting harsh penalties for criminals and more funding for both police and prisons, the New York Post reported.
However, in the wake of the nationwide 2020 protests, rioting, and mobs that sought, using measures that sometimes were violent, threatening, and resulted in extensive property damage, to end police brutality, Biden did not speak out for the police, who were generally maligned as a group.
In May, though, the president called for a nearly 70% increase in funding for the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services: with $537 million designated to more local cops.
As murders soared nationwide, Biden asked state and local governments to hire more police by using leftover funds from the $350 billion of COVID-19 aid, of which New York state had received $12.7 billion, and NYC got approximately $6 billion.
Biden has also proposed a $300 million budget, which he is expected on Thursday to urge the US Congress to pass, to increased funding for local community policing programs.
As the city continues to sort out whether it will provide more support to the police or to criminals, however, the NYPD may have trouble recruiting after six NYPD officers have already been shot this year, including an off-duty police officer, who was shot in Queens Tuesday night.
Imperatrice said that police recruiting is “at an all time low across the nation,” as family members ask those who might be interested, “Why are you going out there to be spit and demoralized? Why are you going to put a target on your back?”
"The president is here because he knows what the American people want: justice, safety and prosperity, and they deserve every bit of it,” Mayor Adams said. “He wants to end the gun violence in our city and in our country.”