After two police officers were shot in two separate incidents in the Bronx over the weekend, dozens of elected officials and leaders from business, community and religious groups held a press conference on Monday to express their solidarity with the NYPD.
On Sunday morning, a gunman ambushed the NYPD’s 41st Precinct station house, located in Longwood, shooting and injuring a male lieutenant. The gunman, identified as Robert Williams, also allegedly shot at two officers on patrol on Simpson Street the night before, hitting one of them in the chin and neck.
At the Feb. 10 rally outside One Police Plaza, speakers urged unity across all political lines, the NYPD and its officers.
“The prerequisite to prosperity in the city is public safety,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. He called the weekend attacks “horrific” and said, “violence only begets violence.”
Everyone at the event was standing together with police officers, said Adams, a former ranking NYPD officer. “We have their back because they have our back, and we will not allow an assault on public protection in our city.”
Adams was asked about comments from the Sergeants Benevolent Association that were critical of Mayor Bill de Blasio after the attacks. The SBA wrote in a series of tweets of an “anti cop tone infecting our city & state is causing bloodshed,” and charged that it was going to “war” with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Brooklyn borough president said he disagreed with the SBA tweets, and said everyone at the press conference rejected words of war on any side. He said his message to police officers was that the city hasn’t abandoned them, and that this was a moment to unite everyone, not divide.
Other officials echoing the call for unity at the press conference included Manhattan Borough Gale Brewer, Staten Island BP James Oddo, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Council Member Adrienne Adams of Queens.
Speakers also raised past attacks against police officers, including the 2017 killing of Officer Miosotis Familia in the Bronx — which occurred in Council Member Fernando Cabrera’s district.
“I don’t want to see a repeat of what almost took place this weekend,” Cabrera said, and added that just like Familia, the officers last weekend were attacked because of the blue uniforms they wore.
“Enough is enough,” added Jackie Rowe Adams, co-founder of Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E. “All this violence, the flow of guns coming into communities, they’re not only killing us now they’re shooting the police.”
Adams pointed out that she lost two children to gun violence and doesn’t want another family to hurt, including families of police officers.
“We need our police,” she said. “We have to stop putting thoughts in young people’s heads that police are bad.”