Prominent African Americans are calling for the NYPD to bring back the department's anti-crime unit after a one-year-old was shot and killed this weekend.
Holding up a pair of baby shoes, Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams said that "babies are not supposed to be wearing these in a coffin" and that the decision to eliminate the anti-crime unit should be rethought.
"I think that a total elimination [of the anti-crime unit] is something we need to reevaluate," Adams said. "Right now, bad guys are saying, if you don’t see a blue and white, you can do whatever you want."
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NYPD’s anti-crime unit—a plain clothes unit tasked with curbing violent crimes and uncovering illegal guns—was disbanded in June as protesters called for reforming and defunding the police following the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Community activist Tony Herbert blamed New York mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) and state lawmakers for the child’s death.
"The blood [of the one-year-old] is on the hands of the mayor and the state legislature," Herbert told CBS New York.
Though Adams supports the police, he also supports Black Lives Matter and de Blasio’s $1 billion funding cut to NYPD, which he announced in June as a response to anti-cop protests.
The movement to defund the police comes as year-to-date shooting incidents in the city are up 53.5 percent, and the number of shooting victims is up 63 percent, according to the most recent NYPD crime statistics data.