On Tuesday, December 26th, New York City Mayor Eric Adams expressed his concerns about two progressive public safety bills recently passed by the City Council, warning that they could worsen public safety in the city.
However, he also suggested that these measures might inspire more moderate voters to participate in future elections.
The first bill, aimed at banning solitary confinement in city jails, and the second bill requiring NYPD officers to record all investigative interactions, secured strong support in the City Council.
Despite this, Mayor Adams has not discounted the possibility of vetoing these initiatives, leaving their fate uncertain.
In a media briefing held at City Hall on Tuesday, Adams noted that he is currently exploring his options regarding potential vetoes. He further contended that the bills would not have been approved if more New Yorkers had participated in City Council elections.
“I think the majority of New Yorkers line up to we need a well‑managed, peaceful, orderly city. It’s unfortunate that a large number of them have become apathetic to voting, that we’re letting a numerical minority hijack the philosophies and the management of our cities,” he stated.
The mayor continued, “I’m hoping that this is going to encourage New Yorkers to engage in politics more, because some of these things that are passing through, people think they’re attractive. I challenge you, go visit other cities that [have] these initiatives…in place.”
The next City Council elections are scheduled for 2025 when Adams is also up for his own re-election bid.
The “How Many Stops Act,” one of the contested bills, would require NYPD officers to log details of all investigative encounters with civilians.
According to the existing laws, NYPD officers are required to document only Level 3 stops, which involve reasonable suspicion of an ongoing crime. However, Level 1 and Level 2 stops, which can be conducted without any suspicion of wrongdoing, do not need to be logged.
The second bill that has riled up Mayor Adams seeks to ban the use of solitary confinement in city jails such as Rikers Island.
Mayor Adams has argued that prohibiting solitary confinement would impede the Department of Correction in its efforts to ensure the safety of both jail guards and inmates.
Proponents of these bills, mainly City Council Democrats, argue that the NYPD bill would address biased policing, especially towards Black and Brown New Yorkers.
They view the solitary confinement ban as essential to ending a practice deemed as “torture” by the United Nations.
However, Mayor Adams believes that the “How Many Stops” Act could burden police with excessive paperwork and compromise safety in jails.
The mayor contended that maintaining effective law and order could become a challenging task with the implementation of the two bills.
Adams said, “Go visit other cities [where] these initiatives have come in place. You need to go see other cities, and you will realize my school of thinking of having a well‑managed, organized city because of how diverse we are and practices. This city has to be maintained and it has to be orderly.”
He added, “This city is too complicated to have an any-and-everything-goes city.”