New York’s mayor-elect got a credibility test Wednesday, and passed handsomely. Here’s hoping Manhattan’s next district attorney was paying attention. 

In normal times, Black Lives Matter bigmouth Hawk Newsome’s promise to bring rack and ruin on the city if Eric Adams doesn’t cede the streets to gangbangers on Jan. 1 could be dismissed as ugly street theater. 

“If they think they are going back to the old ways of policing then we’re going to take to the streets again,” Newsome declared after Adams promised to aggressively combat gun crime. “There will be riots. There will be fire. There will be bloodshed.” 

But we live in stupid times, in a city that stood supinely as a landmark department store, Macy’s Herald Square, was looted the last time BLM got a mad-on. And in which Alvin Bragg. the candidate for district attorney who promised to be even softer on crime than the marshmallow Cyrus Vance Jr., will take office alongside Adams. 

And so Newsome’s ugly threats must be taken seriously. At the very least, he has reason to believe they will be. 

Operationally, the issue is not complicated: Adams, who stressed public safety during his own campaign, doubled-down Thursday, promising to reconstitute the NYPD’s plainclothes street-crime squad — in substance, if not in name. These were the cops who faced down gun violence, and their success can be measured by the fact that while cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore and Philadelphia descended into bullet-riddled chaos over much of the past decade, New York did not. 

Hawk Newsome
BLM leader Hawk Newsome’s threats of violence must be taken seriously.
Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/Shut
Alvin Bragg will become Manhattan's next DA.
Alvin Bragg will become Manhattan’s next DA.
Craig Ruttle, File/AP

Not, that is, until the feckless clown Mayor de Blasio disbanded the Street Crime Unit, with entirely predictable results — double-digit jumps in gun crime, innocent bystanders lying bleeding in the streets and New York City’s hard-won reputation as the safest big city in America reduced to little more than an ironic joke. 

Make no mistake: this is what raised-fist bottom-feeders like Newsome are defending. So it’s reasonable to wonder why. 

Gunplay in New York is about more than punks with pistols settling cheap personal beefs. It’s mostly about gangs carving out and defending lucrative drug turf and related illegal activities. Big bucks are at stake. 

Adams, an ex-cop, knows this. He knows that giving free rein to the gangbangers means the murder of hundreds of black men a year. Is that really what Hawk Newsome wants? It’s a fair question — because that, in effect, is what he’s demanding. 

Protester Hawk Newsome (with megaphone) confronts police outside the 43 precinct, Bronx.
Protesters and New York BLM leader Hawk Newsome confront police outside the 43 Precinct.
Matthew McDermott

And the larger question is this: Will he be accommodated? 

New York’s surrender to crime — not just in Gotham, but in cities all across the state — is a work in progress. It can be arrested, pardon the term, but only if New York’s leaders are clear-eyed about the damage earlier criminal-justice “reforms” have caused, and finally decide enough is enough. 

Eric Adams
Mayor-elect Adams has vowed to combat gun crime in NYC.
Paul Martinka

Adams has drawn a line: “I’m going to put in place a plainclothes gun unit,” he responded Thursday. 

Newsome has promised to cross it. 

Assuming each man is as good as his word, and given the uncertainties of effective police work, a collision is inevitable — the date, location and circumstances to be determined. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, and New York City’s mayor-elect Eric Adams greet each other during a reception hosted by the Kings County Democratic Party at El San Juan Hotel on Friday, November 5, 2021 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In Mayor de Blasio’s tenure, the NYPD’s Street Crime Unit was disbanded — and Mayor-elect Adams has vowed to reinstate it.
James Keivom

Then it will be a matter of whether New York has the intelligence, courage and self-respect needed to avoid the abyss. 

But sincere thanks to Hawk Newsome for putting us all on notice. 

Twitter: @rlmac2 

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