Politics Maya Wiley campaign forced to deny she plans to disarm NYPD cops
New York City mayoral race: What to know about the candidates, issues and why a 'progressive' isn't leading the way
The New York City mayor's election is in its final stretch, with Andrew Yang, Eric Adams and Kathryn Garcia emerging as front-runners.Eight major Democrats are making their final bids to New York City voters in a campaign that has touched on a variety of challenges facing the city, led to a diverse list of candidates and featured plenty of Zoom calls.
Maya Wiley's campaign team has been forced to deny that she intends to disarm NYPD cops after the New York mayoral candidate refused to commit to a position during a debate.
Speaking with the top five Democrat candidates on Thursday, Wiley said she was 'not prepared to make that decision in a debate'.
After the debate, her campaign tried to clear up her answer, with spokesperson Julia Savel telling: 'It's a ridiculous question; no one is even discussing taking guns away from cops — clearly Maya wouldn't.'
The question arose after state Attorney General Letitia James made recommendations to make use-of-force a last resort decision for law enforcement.
Ocasio-Cortez endorses Maya Wiley in NYC mayoral race
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), one of the nation’s most prominent progressive lawmakers, threw her support behind Maya Wiley in the New York City mayoral race, serving up a key endorsement in the final weeks before this month’s primary.Ocasio-Cortez cast Wiley as an ally to progressive movements like the one that thrust her into power in 2018, saying the civil rights lawyer and former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) will work with liberal groups once in office.
During Thursday's debate among the top five Democrat mayoral candidates, Wiley was pushed on the issue of arming cops.
CBS2 reporter Marcia Kramer asked: 'Attorney General Letitia James is proposing legislation to limit cops from firing their weapons, use of force as a last resort.
'Some might ask, why not go all the way and take away the guns altogether like they do in 19 other countries where the bulk of the police force is unarmed.'
But Wiley initially dodged the question as she refused to commit to an answer on whether to remove cops' guns.
She said: 'Well, look, one of the things we have to do is acknowledge that the Mayor's job is safety — safety is job one and I'm going to keep New Yorkers safe when I'm mayor.'
Days until early voting, Maya Wiley goes on the attack
“The talking points that we are hearing from a candidate, Eric Adams, running as a Democrat are the talking points we have heard from Mitch McConnell,” Wiley said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” © Provided by New York Daily News Mayoral hopefuls Maya Wiley (left) and Eric Adams New York City mayoral candidates Maya Wiley (left) and Eric Adams (right) “(Adams is) blaming those of us who are progressive, who are simply looking at what is smart and proven and fact-based, as the folks responsible for crime,” Wiley added.
Kramer then probed again if she would take away guns but Wiley continued: 'That does mean we want smart policing. I think we know that we have a problem with illegal guns coming into this city.
'We have the strongest gun control laws in the country, the issue is how they're coming in.
'We do want a police department that is focused on keeping them out of the city and off our streets.'
Kramer then asked a third time: 'But will you take the guns away from the NYPD.'
Wiley, who has been endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren, responded: 'I am not prepared to make that decision in a debate.
'I am going to have a civilian commissioner and a civilian commission that is going to hold the police accountable and ensure we're safe from crime but also from police violence.'
All four other candidates on the stage, Eric Adams, Kathryn Garcia, Scott Stringer and Andrew Yang, pledged to allow police to keep carrying guns.
Yang said: 'My first act as mayor will be to go to the police and say we need you.'
The inside story of how Bill de Blasio promised, then thwarted NYPD accountability .
De Blasio once pledged powerful oversight of the police. Then he became mayor. Insiders reveal what happened next Mayor Bill De Blasio Getty/Yana Paskova