At the Bronx courthouse earlier this week, Eric Adams stood with anti-crime advocates who chanted: “Stop shooting! Start living!”

What You Need To Know

  • Adams stood with violence interrupters as new crime stats show spikes in shootings
  • Democrat spent 22 years with police force, rising to rank of captain

  • His plan to confront crime includes reconstituting the anti-crime unit as an anti-gun one

  • Rivals also have gun violence plans, though none have his lived experience

The Democrat is positioning himself as the candidate for mayor most uniquely qualified to address the surge in gun violence.

His event highlighting his anti-crime plan came as new police statistics point to sharp spikes in shooting incidents.

“If the violence that we’re seeing in the Bronx, in Brownsville, in East New York, if they were experiencing these same numbers in other communities, I believe there would be a different response,” Adams said Tuesday.

The Brooklyn borough president is a retired NYPD captain who has tried to walk a delicate line.

He’s appealing to New Yorkers with a tough-on-crime approach while also condemning police brutality, which he said he experienced as a youth.

Adams says he strikes a balance that others cannot.

“Yes, I’m a big believer in police reform, but I also believe in public safety," he said. "You can have reform and safety together. You can’t have a one-sided conversation.”

As the city reopens and with summer around the corner, officials find themselves confronting a crime bump with a 5-year-old and a tourist as the latest shooting victims.

"It’s going to be addressed, it is being addressed by more gun arrests, by deeper work with communities, more use of and more support for the Cure Violence movement and the Crisis Management System," said Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

While de Blasio says the NYPD is on the right path, Adams said more must be done.

His platform includes reconstituting the disbanded anti-crime unit as an anti-gun unit and better coordinating the Crisis Management System and the NYPD to prevent retaliatory shootings.

Activists who stood with him cite his time as a cop in a more dangerous era.

“The worst cycle that we can go back to is the ’80s and the ’90s. And guess who was there in the ’80s and the ’90s? Eric Adams,” Sheikh Musa Drammeh said.

Adams’ vocal approach to combating crime often sets him apart from Democratic rivals to his left, who advocate for less traditional policing.

Many in the primary do overlap on proposals like raising clearance rates and empowering violence interrupters.

Adams charged that his opponents have been silent on crime, but several have addressed it in their platforms.

Former MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley introduced a detailed plan to end gun violence as her first policy proposal last December.