NEW YORK (WABC) -- How will the next mayor of New York City deal with the NYPD? That question was front and center Thursday in the race to be the city's 110th mayor.
As violent crime spikes across the city, Eric Adams, a former police captain, has painted himself as the law and order candidate, but he's also vowed to reform and rein in abusive police tactics like stop and frisk.
So his comments on the police union were surprising.
"People say that I have attacked the police, but that is a contradiction to the reality. I have always been endorsed by the PBA," Adams said.
The PBA endorsed Donald Trump for president.
"And I am saddened to hear that Eric Adams would stand up and make that statement," Adams' fellow mayoral candidate, Maya Wiley, said.
Wiley denounced Adams and the PBA.
Fellow candidate Scott Stringer has warned Adams would bring back a Giuliani-era of stop and frisk.
Adams hit back Thursday saying his opponents are making too much of his PBA comment.
"I don't want the PBA's endorsement. Their problem and their rhetoric in the past has been extremely toxic," Adams said.
Even the mayor, who has stayed out of the race to replace him, defended Adams saying he is not pro-police union.
"I certainly don't think that follows. He clearly spoke out against stop and frisk at the time. I think that says it all," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Also Thursday, Adams accepted the endorsement of Al Sharpton's daughter.
Reporters then asked what if Sharpton himself endorses someone else and ranks Adams second or third?
"I'm going to be just like my son when he was first born, I'm going to wake up and cry, wake up, go back to sleep and cry some more," Adams said.
Meanwhile, Andrew Yang denounced any candidate who's unwilling to accept the outcome of the ranked-choice voting in the June 22nd primary.
The city council introduced a bill to halt ranked-choice voting, but it's doubtful that could be passed in time to affect this election.
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