New York City Mayor Eric Adams apologized Friday after a video surfaced showing him calling white NYPD officers a racist slur during an event in 2019.
A video obtained by several news outlets showed Adams, a Democrat, telling people at a private event that “every day in the police department, I kicked those crackers’ [expletive].”
“Man, I was unbelievable in the police department with 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement,” he continued, referring to Blacks in Law Enforcement, an advocacy group he helped found. “Became a sergeant, a lieutenant, and a captain. You know the story … some people all of a sudden trying to reinvent me. But the reality is what I was then is who I am now.”
When asked about the video on Friday, Adams quickly apologized. He also noted that the context of his remarks is key.
“I definitely apologize. Inappropriate, inappropriate comments, should not have been used,” the mayor told the New York Daily News. “Someone asked me a question using that comment and playing on that word. I responded in that comment, but clearly these comments should not have been used, and I apologize not only to those who heard it, but to New Yorkers because they should expect more from me.”
The video was uncovered just weeks after Adams was sworn in as mayor, replacing the widely criticized Democrat Bill de Blasio.
While campaigning for the mayor’s seat, Adams took a hard stance against the “defund the police” movement, which was embraced by a number of Democrats. Before retiring in 2006, Adams had long worked for the NYPD.
It comes, meanwhile, as Adams said that he is working on assembling a new specialized NYPD unit aimed at dealing with crime. New York City, like other major metropolitan areas, saw a spike in homicides in both 2020 and 2021.
“This is not the Anti-Crime Unit,” Adams said Friday. “These officers will be in modified police uniforms, readily identified in unmarked vehicles. They’re going to do precision policing to go after those 500 to 600 known trigger-pullers that are producing 17 percent of the violence in the city.”
Adams said he is calling for a 9/11-style response to a surge in shootings and homicides.
Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association and who endorsed former President Donald Trump’s reelection, said Friday that he spoke to Adams about the video. He called on union members not to “rush to outrage.”
“We have spent far too many hours together in hospital emergency rooms these past few weeks, and we’ve worked together for decades before that,” Lynch said in a statement. “A few seconds of video will not define our relationship. We have a lot of work to do together to support our members on the streets.”
The Epoch Times has contacted the mayor’s office for additional comment.