New York Mayor Adams defends top NYPD officials who blasted critics on social media

CeFaan Kim Image
Tuesday, April 2, 2024
Mayor Adams defends NYPD officials who blasted critics on social media
CeFaan Kim has more on Mayor Adams' response at City Hall on Tuesday.

MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- New York Mayor Eric Adams had strong words on Tuesday, forcefully defending top NYPD officials who in the past few days took to social media to blast critics, including advocates, council members, and journalists.

At City Hall, Adams made it crystal clear that NYPD officials had his blessing to take off the gloves on their critics.

"I want the leaders of the administration to stand up for police officers who are placing their lives on the line," Adams said. "My order to them is I'm tired of everyone talking down on the people who are placing their lives on the front lines."

The escalation between the NYPD and who they call anti-police critics erupted last week as cops laid to rest Officer Jonathan Diller, when Chief of Patrol John Chell seemed to suggest voters should oust Councilmember Tiffany Caban.

He tweeted in part, "Under this mayor, crime is down while fighting ridiculous policies that your friends put in place, and he inherited. If you want change, vote the change you seek."

Chief Chell then teed off on a critical column published just hours after the funeral ended.

That column incorrectly stated there were 10 homicides in the subway this year. There have been four.

Chief Chell on Mornings at 10 on Tuesday, called social media a two-way street.

"An article attacking our chief of department complaining about transit crime the day after we bury one of our members whose family is going to read that, and then to double down on the stupidity with misinformation," Chell said. "The anti-police rhetoric by some anti-police journalists, we're going to put them to the side and we'll deal with them accordingly."

"The day we buried an officer, that was murdered. Five p.m. I thought that was distasteful," Mayor Adams said. "I don't think they attacked anyone. They responded. The columnist shared his opinion, they shared their opinion."

Chief Chell though tweeted insults on top of opinions at the columnist, tweeting a message that said, "The defund crowd who will cry 'boo boo' to 9-1-1 when they need us. The problem is that besides your flawed reporting is the fact that now we are calling you and your latte friends out on their garbage."

Meanwhile, the chief's tweets from his official department account suggesting voting out elected officials, raised questions about electioneering and using city resources for political purposes.

"I don't think that the chief was electioneering," Adams said in response.

The chief went on to tweet that this is only the beginning of shaping the narrative against false reporting, saying "sitting in silence is not an option."

Eyewitness News reached out to Councilman Caban who released this statement:

"Chief Chell used his official account to repeatedly praise the Mayor, who is a candidate for office, and concluded by urging everyone to vote," she said. "That is explicitly prohibited conduct by an NYPD official. This is the same Chief Chell who shot a man in the back, killed him, and, per the jury's findings, lied about it. No one should be surprised that he acts as though the rules don't apply to him. Nor is it surprising that the Mayor, who seemingly breaks a new rule every day, condones and defends such misconduct."

Jerry Goldfeder is an election lawyer for Senior Counsel, Cozen O'Connor.

"It's not electioneering. There's no election this year that relates to either the mayor or the councilwoman," he said.


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