If there’s a lesson to be learned from the Democratic mayoral primary — and there definitely is one! — it’s that it’s easy to ignore street violence when there’s very little street violence to be seen. Such is the oblivious attitude of mostly white Manhattanites who voted against Eric Adams, the only real law-and-order candidate in the race.
The de Blasio-era rise in violence did not impact all areas of Gotham equally. Not even close.
Inhabitants of lower-income, high-crime, mostly minority neighborhoods turned out for Adams in huge numbers, up to 70 percent of votes. The only major candidate who pledged crime-fighting strategies with real teeth, he earned the New York Post’s endorsement for making public safety his campaign’s centerpiece.
Meanwhile, the neighborhoods that voted for Kathryn Garcia (and her wishy-washy crime-fighting strategy of replacing the NYPD’s “warrior culture” with a “guardian mindset,” whatever that means) are among the city’s least dangerous, as shown by NYPD CompStat data for each of the city’s 77 precincts.
Adams, who was himself a cop for 22 years, wants to put more officers on the street and bring back undercover anti-crime units. He even suggested that stop-and-frisk — horrors! — can be part of a legitimate law-enforcement strategy.
If you listen to “progressives,” black and Hispanic New Yorkers — some of whom have indeed endured police abuses — ought to recoil over Adams’ positions. Fortunately, those minority voters instead heeded the evidence witnessed by their own eyes.
The leftist media is scrambling to explain away Adams’ triumph in terms of a “platform that was part law-and-order, part police reform,” as The New York Times put it. But Adams’ voters feared a stray bullet entering their living rooms more than they did rogue actions by a handful of bad cops. While every candidate pledged to curb errant officers, only Adams pledged to go after the bad guys on the streets.
The sections of Manhattan that voted for Garcia are the safest bubble within the bubble. Despite a few widely reported outrages, such as a tourist hit by a stray bullet in Times Square and nightly mayhem in Washington Square Park, most Manhattan districts are barely any more dangerous than they were prior to 2020, when misguided anti-bail laws and anti-cop sentiment allowed criminals to run free.
Guess how many murders have happened so far this year in my own vast, Upper East Side 19th Precinct, extending from East 59th to 96th street and from the East River to Central Park. Exactly one, along with three shootings. Garcia took most of the election districts here, with 36-45 percent of the votes compared to 15-22 percent for Adams.
In the 6th Precinct, which covers central Greenwich Village and the West Village, this year’s “toll” to date is zero murders, three shootings. Garcia swept this area with up to 52 percent of votes versus single figures for Adams. Even far-left police-defunder Maya Wiley finished well ahead of Adams with around 20 percent.
The Village’s cozy confines happen to be home to New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet. Although Baquet doesn’t write editorials, it’s a matter of record that his paper endorsed Garcia and her goal of “reforming the New York Police Department.”
The historically far-left Upper West Side between West 60th and 86th streets, the 20th Precinct, saw zero murders and just one shooting to date this year, and Garcia handily beat Adams here with 44-53 percent of votes in most districts. The precinct known as Midtown South, which includes Times Square, had only a single homicide and nine shootings, and Adams lost to both Garcia and Wiley by several percentage points there. Similarly, the woke wonderland of Brooklyn’s Park Slope, the 78th Precinct, saw zero murders and one shooting so far in 2021 and Adams mustered barely single digits against both Garcia and Wiley.
On the other hand, Adams’ narrow, 8,400-vote margin over Garcia was built on support from neighborhoods where chronic bloodshed is a way of life. Their residents want more, not less, police protection notwithstanding Wiley’s assertion that defunding cops was what people of color really craved.
In the 75th Precinct of Brooklyn’s East New York, which has seen nine murders and 34 shootings in 2021, Adams clobbered all others with up to 77.9 percent of the vote. He also took up to 60 percent in the Southwest Bronx’s 44th Precinct where there were eight murders and 44 shootings so far this year.
My childhood neighborhood of Ocean Hill-Brownsville, in the 73d Precinct, saw eight murders and 35 shootings since Jan. 1, most of them in Brownsville’s gang-infested housing projects. The gigantic Broadway Junction subway station, both elevated and underground, is one of the scariest of the system’s 472 stations and a source of dread for all who use it. Adams pulled nearly 75 percent in some of this precinct’s voting districts.
Adams himself attributed his victory to a “a five-borough movement of working-class New Yorkers coming together for a safer, stronger, healthier city.” Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, who spearheaded the drop in crime under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and all-too-briefly maintained it under Bill de Blasio, called it “good news for New York City.”
It’s the best news of all for neighborhoods where bullets rule — even if my deep-thinking Manhattan neighbors haven’t a clue as to why.