But progressive lawmakers and criminal justice reform activists rejected the mayor’s calls to allow judges to consider dangerousness when setting bail or to allow harsher prosecutions for gun crimes under Raise the Age. Anthonine Pierre, the deputy director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a nonprofit, said that the plan offered by the mayor was little more than an expansion of policing cloaked in the language of public health. “That’s the part that’s most disturbing about what the mayor is saying,” she said.
Gangs putting guns in the hands of young children has been a problem for decades, she noted, but the city has failed to provide the social services those children and their families need. “If there’s anyone who needs to be in Family Court, it’s a 12-year-old who has been convinced to carry a gun,” she said.
In the past month, Mr. Adams has responded to the scenes of several violent incidents: a woman pushed to her death at a Times Square subway station; a baby shot in the Bronx; a 19-year-old Burger King worker killed during a robbery in Manhattan. Police officers have also been wounded in shootings in the Bronx, East Harlem and on Staten Island.
But the shooting death on Friday of Officer Jason Rivera — whose partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, was also gravely wounded — poses the greatest challenge to Mr. Adams early in his mayoralty. (The suspect, Lashawn McNeil, was shot by a third officer and died on Monday from his wounds.)
A few hours before Mr. Adams’s speech, the city’s public advocate, Jumaane D. Williams, offered his own public safety recommendations, focusing on building on progressive policies that have been credited with helping the city reach record-low levels of gun violence before the pandemic.
Mr. Williams, a Democrat like Mr. Adams and a candidate for governor, sought to offer a different path from the mayor that placed a priority on empowering communities through initiatives like investing in community-run recreational spaces and paying local residents to learn conflict-mediation skills.
“We can build safer, stronger communities without relying on strategies which in the past have inflicted lasting harm,” Mr. Williams said. “This is not a time to lose the lessons that we have learned.”
Grace Ashford and Jonah E. Bromwich contributed reporting.