Mayor Eric Adams Stands by NYPD's Handling of Campus Demonstrations

NYC confronts new challenges in recent campus protests.

by Nouman Rasool
Mayor Eric Adams Stands by NYPD's Handling of Campus Demonstrations
© Spencer Platt/Getty Images

After massive protests across college campuses in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams lent his voice to support the NYPD on the current ongoing debate nationally about their actions in containing the protests. The mayor spoke to ABC News "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl about the controversy surrounding the police response, which some have criticized as heavy-handed.

The Mayor emphasized the importance of restraint and the necessity to act when demonstrations potentially escalate into violence. "When those protests reach the point of violence," Adams stated, "we have to ensure that we use a minimum amount of force to terminate what is perceived to be a threat." His comments come amid growing scrutiny over law enforcement tactics at protests that, while largely peaceful, have occasionally veered towards disorder.

Strategic Police Intervention

Further defending the actions of the NYPD, Adams revealed that the decision to intervene was not made hastily. It followed extensive discussions with academic institutions, underscoring a strategic approach rather than a reactionary one.

"We knew we had to get permission unless there's imminent threat to life, or severe threat to property," he explained, asserting the department's commitment to not overstepping its bounds. The conversation with Karl also touched on internal criticisms from within the Democratic Party, where some feel the police response was disproportionate to the mostly nonviolent nature of the protests.

In response, Adams articulated a firm stance on his administrative duties. "One has the right to have his or her opinion, and I respect that," he conceded. "And I have an obligation and responsibility to ensure the city is safe." That statement underscores the delicate balance that city officials seek to strike between protecting First Amendment rights and ensuring public safety.

As the discussions go on, the stand taken by Mayor Adams only epitomizes a larger discussion of whether the roles of cops in the management of protests are still relevant against the backdrop of the city's ever-evolving political environment.