The Big Apple’s mayoral hopefuls are seeing eye-to-eye on at least one thing after a weekend gang shooting wounded seven bystanders outside a Queens laundromat — the city needs to put more cops on the streets.
Eric Adams, the Democratic candidate and likely next mayor, called Sunday for the formation of a Joint Gangs and Guns Task Force in conjunction with state and federal authorities “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 also denounced the city’s decision last year to disband the NYPD’s 600-strong anti-crime street unit, which focused on fighting 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 four hours 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.”