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In the wake of the shocking attack on a subway train in Brooklyn during rush hour earlier in the week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams bizarrely blasted the Black Lives Matter organization during an interview.

A day after the New York Police Department arrested Frank James as the man responsible for the brutal attack on subway riders on a Manhattan-bound train during the morning rush hour on Tuesday (April 12th), Mayor Eric Adams was interviewed by the local news network NY1. While discussing the rise of gun violence in the city, he was asked about what he and his office would do to counteract the surge which included a dozen more incidents involving guns since that incident across the five boroughs. “By being consistent with our message. Here is my question that I put out to the city: I thought Black lives mattered. Where are all those who stated Black lives matter?” he asked in response. “Then go do an analysis of who was killed or shot last night. I was up all night speaking to my commanders in the Bronx and Brooklyn. The victims were Black. Many of the shooters were Black.” 

The mayor doubled down on his criticism of the social justice organization. “If Black lives matter, then the thousands of people I saw on the street when [George] Floyd was murdered should be on the streets right now stating that the lives of these Black children that are dying every night matter,” Adams continued. “We can’t be hypocrites.”

The mayor’s comments during the interview received a swift rebuke from Hank Newsome, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. He and the mayor have clashed through the press since Adams’ win last year, with Adams’ vow to be tougher on crime as the main priority as a bone of contention.  

“He wants us to have a fight in the newspapers to distract people from the real issues,” Newsome said in an interview with POLITICO. “The mayor is great at press conferences, and he is really good at making statements, but he lacks efficiency and the ability to lead our city in a safer direction.” Adrienne Adams, the head speaker for the New York City Council, pushed back on the mayor’s comments in an unrelated press conference on Thursday (April 14th). “I would never speak for the mayor because I can’t,” she began. “What I would say, though, is that people who believe black lives matter care about black lives. Period.”

The attacks come as Mayor Adams is under scrutiny for the uptick in gun violence in New York City. Despite the number of incidents and the media’s conveying of these situations, researchers from the FBI and other policing data organizations have found that the situation is more complex as the homicide rate in shootings in the city is lower when compared to other large cities in the nation according to data compiled.

“In New York, it’s sort of this dual situation,” crime analyst Jeff Asher said when interviewed by AP about the topic. “It’s important to know that this is not the worst it has ever been while also understanding that it has gotten significantly worse in the last few years.”