Race for NYC mayor: Crime takes center stage after another violent weekend

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Gun crimes are once again running rampant in New York City, with another violent weekend in the nation's largest city after 26 people were shot in 22 incidents.

And for many, it feels like a lifetime ago that the Big Apple bragged about being the safety metropolis in America.

With crime now at the forefront of the race for mayor, the candidates are chiming in with what they'd do to fight the issue.

"We need a change to help make our city streets and subways safe," former presidential candidate Andrew Yang said. "Thirty people were shot over this past weekend. I met with a victim of violence just yesterday. It is unacceptable what is happening in our city."

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The next mayor of New York City is facing the biggest challenges perhaps of any mayor ever and the field of candidates is the most diverse ever.


Yang on Monday picked up the endorsement of state Senator and former city Comptroller John Liu.

And while Yang never mentioned Brooklyn Borough President and mayoral hopeful Eric Adams by name, he said Adam's kind of experience is the wrong kind and that the city's crime problem needs new and different thinking.

"And if you think someone who has been rattling around our city's bureaucracies and agencies for the last number of years, climbing the ladder and hoping to become our next mayor and deliver that change, New Yorkers know different," he said.

Adams picked up the endorsement of civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, even though they've often disagreed in the past.

But Siegel said Adams' experience as a former cop and as an activist against stop and frisk is what the city needs now.

"Eric, in my opinion, would make an excellent mayor who has the skills and the personality to bring New Yorkers together," Siegel said.

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It has been a big question about Andrew Yang for weeks, is he ready to be mayor?


Adams has proposed an immediate gun crackdown, a new kind of street crime unit, and a prosecutor whose sole focus is guns.

"It took a 3-year-old being shot in Times Square before the other candidates finally understood we need to listen to what Eric is saying," Adams said.

Polling in 2020 showed that New Yorkers were worried most about how a new mayor would respond to COVID. Now, crime has become the number one issue, as shootings have almost doubled last year's rate.

The next debate in the race for NYC mayor will take place June 2 on ABC7. It will now be held in person, marking the first such debate since the pandemic.

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