Mayor Adams, NYPD commissioner address NYC subway shooting on ABC's 'This Week'

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Monday, April 18, 2022
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In an exclusive interview on ABC's 'This Week,' New York City Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell discuss the terrifying mass shooting aboard a subway train that injured dozens.

NEW YORK CITY -- New York City's mayor and NYPD commissioner appeared on 'This Week' Sunday morning to address the terrifying mass shooting aboard a subway train in Brooklyn.

In the exclusive interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell discussed what needs to be done to prevent horrific events like Tuesday's attack from happening again.

The suspect in the incident, Frank R. James, was taken into custody a day after he allegedly carried out the attack aboard an N train in Sunset Park during the height of the morning rush.

ALSO READ | Frank R. James: What we know about Brooklyn subway shooting suspect

When asked why James turned himself in, Sewell said she believes the work of authorities to "close in on him" forced him to surrender, in addition to the help of everyday New Yorkers.

"One of the key factors, our force multiplier which are the eyes and ears of New Yorkers," she said.

However, Mayor Adams pointed to social media as potential measure to curb violence before it strikes.

Not long after James was labeled as a person of interest, and ultimately a suspect, in the attack, YouTube videos surfaced online of James promoting hate and violence, some of it seeming to call out Adams for his policies on homelessness.

"Social media must step up," he said. "There's a corporate responsibility when we're watching hate brew online. We can identify using artificial intelligence and other methods to identify those who are talking about violence."

As far as providing safety on the streets and subways, the police commissioner said the department has enhanced patrols and have done over 280,000 additional inspections by officers in the subway system since January.

The mayor added that in order to stop the influx of ghost guns in the city, they need to double the amount of ATF agents in New York. Currently, Adams says there are 2,400 ATF agents in the country, but only 80 in the city.

He also pointed to generational social problems as factor in violence.

"Many of these generational social problems have become the pipeline to violence," Adams said "The only thing beating that pipeline is the pipeline of guns coming into the inner cities."

Sewell and Adams both acknowledged that community trust in police may be the greatest challenge the city has to overcome.

"I'm out there rebuilding that trust with the community. We need them," Sewell said. "We keep saying that public safety is a shared responsibility. This recent case illustrates just that. Everyone came together. We need to build strength in our communities with the police."

ALSO READ | Man who spotted subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, flagged down officers speaks out

"We have to rebuild that trust. We can't rebuild that trust by allowing those who are dangerous and have a repeated history of violence to continue to be on our streets," Adams said.

Both Adams and Sewell agreed that solving the issue of crime will rely heavily on "intervention and prevention."

"We cannot lose sight of the victims of crime," Sewell said. "When we lose sight of the victims of crime, we're not doing what public safety is intended to do."

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