Witt’s World: Giving Eric Adams the Safety & Respect He Deserves

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Mayor-Elect Eric Adams being confronted by demonstrators outside Brooklyn Borough Hall the day after he was elected. Photo from Yahoo.com video
Stephen Witt

I received a call yesterday from one of my oldest friends, and a trusted advisor, Geoffrey Davis, who was very concerned about the treatment bordering on violence that Mayor-elect Eric Adams has been receiving since getting elected.

He shared with me the following video, which took place on Nov. 3, the day after Mayor-Elect Eric Adams was elected. It shows protesters invading Adams’ personal space, pointing fingers in face and taunting him at very close range. Such altercations can and have led to violence. I don’t think this was ever reported in the mainstream local press, but it was posted on the finance arm of yahoo.com. Here it is:


Geoff texted me this to say about the video:

“After reviewing the videos of the protest at Borough Hall against Mayor-Elect Eric Adams, I am 100% disturbed that he would be treated in such a disrespectful manner. Never have I seen such up close screaming in a Mayor’s face that we saw with Brother Adams. I’m not against protesting, but to be so close in an elected official’s face, almost pushing him is absolutely wrong! I’m sending a message out loud & clear that this type of obnoxious behavior will not be tolerated. It wasn’t tolerated with de Blasio, Bloomberg or Guiliani and it will not be allowed with Mayor Adams!”

Here’s the thing about Geoff. Long before the term violence interrupters was coined, he and his brother, James E. Davis, started the Love Yourself Stop Violence Foundation to address Black on Black crime. A foundation Geoff continues to run out of the recently renovated Crown Heights Armory.

Like Adams, James E. Davis was a former cop in the New York City Police Department and went into politics. After several tries, he was elected to the City Council and considered a rising star in the political world before he was shot and killed in City Hall on July 23, 2003. I knew James fairly well as a reporter and covered his funeral.

As somebody who has covered both the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations, I share Geoff’s concern about the disparate treatment Mayor-elect Adams is getting. And this includes people like Hawk Newsome, co-founder of the Greater New York chapter of Black Lives Matter, and who I interviewed on my podcast Un-Correct New York – now on hiatus.

Adams gave Newsome the time and respect to meet with him. Newsome and his followers returned it with veiled threats. Harassing Adams up close and personal like in the video should never be tolerated.

And the city’s left-leaning media elite including WNYC, TheCity, Gothamist, Politico and others should be discouraging such semi-violent protests in editorials. I recall many of these outlets that were in existence eight years ago gave de Blasio a long honeymoon before they started to dig in on him. Adams will not get the same grace period. My sense is this is for two reasons:

Firstly, Adams is a moderate Democrat in a left-gone-wild city. Secondly, he’s a Black man of humble roots, whose very existence counters leftist dogma that the American Dream is dead.

Geoffrey Davis is gathering a number of local electeds and community leaders for a press conference to let the city know that semi-violent protests against Adams, where his personal space is violated, will not be tolerated. The event is slated for 12 noon, this Sunday, Nov. 14 at City Hall.

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