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Threats of Violence Reduced to "Silly" Banter by Newly Elected Mayor

If they think they are going back to the old ways of policing, then we are going to take to the streets again. There will be riots, there will be fire, and there will be bloodshed.

-Hawk Newsome

During a meeting with Mayor-elect Eric Adams (D) at Brooklyn Borough Hall, co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York Hawk Newsome threatened riots, fire, and bloodshed if Adams reinstates the NYPD’s anti-crime unit. The unit was disbanded by current-Mayor Bill de Blasio last year. Adams, a former police captain, made it clear during his meeting with the organization that he will not let their threats guide his decision-making.

Adams reduced the comments down to silly rhetoric, demanding that the city will not be a “city of riots.” He told the group that he will be holding them accountable to be a part of stopping the violence in the community, not starting it. During Adams’ campaign, he ran on a platform of assuring safety across the city. He promised his voters that he would bring back the anti-crime unit, which involves plainclothes police officers, to target illegal guns. The unit will zero in on “guns and gangs,” and will all be equipped with body cameras.

While Newsome’s threats are protected by the First Amendment, as they did not incite any immediate response of violence, they should be taken seriously not only by the mayor of New York City, but any leader interested in putting an actual end to the violence. We cannot have an organization who thinks they can dictate policy by threatening to burn cities to the ground. BLM leaders are not elected by we the people. We never granted them the authority to guide policy decisions, yet they’re comfortable enough to openly threaten New York City’s safety if they don’t produce the results demanded by the organization.

BLM understandably wants justice, but at what cost? What is their definition of justice? Efforts made to remove illegal guns off of the streets should be praised by any organization that promotes peace. Why are they threatening riots if Adams reintroduces efforts that target threats of violence? Furthermore, why are these threats being brushed off as “silly” when they literally threatened bloodshed on the streets to an elected politician.

Free speech matters, and Newsome has the right to express his anger in a way that he feels he’s getting his point across. However, if these threats materialize into action, and there were all of these witnesses idly standing by, then it becomes obvious that the federal government is selectively choosing which threats to take seriously.

If you can remember, parents attending school board threats were deemed a threat to the security of elected officials. Anyone who attended the Jan. 6 riots has been painted in the media as a domestic terrorist. Yet, we have a leading member of a very well-known organization threatening blood in the streets if a policy is reinstated. Imagine the narrative if this was the Proud Boys having a meeting with Adams and threatening bloodshed if a policy is reinstated. We, at the very least, need consistency.

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