NEW YORK (WTVO) — The founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York has vowed there will be “riots” and “bloodshed” if the city’s mayor-elect reinstates the NYPD’s anti-crime police unit.
Hawk Newsome made the threats during a heated meeting with Mayor-elect Eric Adams at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall, according to WNYW.
“If he thinks that they’re going to go back to the old ways of policing, then we are going to take to the streets again. There will be riots, there will be fire and there will be bloodshed because we believe in defending our people,” Newsome told the New York Daily News.
Chivona Newsome, a co-founder of the group and Hawk’s sister, told the paper, “We will shut down City Hall, and we will give him hell and make it a nightmare.”
Adams, a former police captain and Democrat, calls himself a progressive but said he would take a tough-on-crime stance, and has rejected calls to “defund the police.”
He gained attention early in his career for speaking critically of the police department, as someone who had experienced police brutality as a teen. Adams said he was beaten by officers when he was arrested for trespassing at age 15.
The NYPD’s anti-crime unit was a plainclothes team of 600 officers that focused on gun arrests and violent crimes, and had been disbanded in 2020, due to a policy shift following the nationwide unrest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.