Mayor Defends NYPD Brass' Attacks On Critics

NEW YORK CITY — Top NYPD officials who recently used official Twitter accounts to label a columnist as “deceitful,” challenge a critic to a face-off at a fallen officer’s funeral and effectively call for New Yorkers to vote an elected official out of office did nothing wrong, or so says Mayor Eric Adams.

Adams said Tuesday that he didn’t think NYPD brass — notably Chief of Patrol John Chell — attacked anyone, even though top cops clearly spent days doing just that in high-profile online spats.

He then called a recent column criticizing the NYPD by New York Daily News columnist Harry Siegel “horrific” because it was released Saturday, just hours after the funeral of Officer Jonathan Diller, who was fatally shot during a traffic stop.

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“(It) didn’t take into consideration the men and women who were mourning, who felt the rawness of that death,” he said.

“And I believe that standing by and continuously to allow people to just take open shots at the men and women who placed their lives on the line, it’s just not acceptable.”

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Adams’ comments capped an extraordinary few days in which the mayor and NYPD officials faced down vocal critics, often in terms that arguably tried to shut down any criticism whatsoever.

Hizzoner has increasingly insulated himself from contentious interviews in recent years, in part by limiting what he calls “off-topic” questions from reporters to free-ranging sitdown every Tuesday.

But last week, Adams got raked over the coals on the popular “The Breakfast Club show by Olayemi Olurin, a lawyer who posted a nearly two-hour YouTube video outlining why she believes he’s “the worst mayor in America.”

Olurin spent 50 minutes unrelentingly challenging Adams on his record, notably on policing. She pointed out, in a since-viral clip, that 97 percent of stops by police “neighbor safety teams” revived by Adams have been on Black and Latino New Yorkers.

Adams’ rhetoric about safety on the subways, Olurin argued, has made New Yorkers feel less safe.

“Despite the fact that millions of people ride the subway every day without incident,” she said.

The grilling evidently rankled Chell, the NYPD’s chief of patrol, who attacked Olurin as “misinformed” and challenged her to attend Diller’s funeral — all from his official account on X, formerly Twitter.

Olurin blocked Chell.

Chell wasn’t done.

He and other top NYPD cops criticized Siegel’s column after it was released over the weekend for overstating the number of homicides in the city’s subway system.

The fact check — which led to a correction by the Daily News — was also coupled with Chell later labeling the columnist “Harry ‘Deceitful’ Siegel.” The NYPD’s official account — which is typically used to impart information to the public about crimes — repeated the nickname.

But, as Siegel noted, the online furor by Chell and other NYPD brass largely sidestepped the column’s main argument that police officials don’t seem to have much of a strategy to deal with violence in the subways other than flooding the transit system with more cops.

“Incredible cop talk, to say an editor’s note correcting a simple, single error of fact—which is on me—means ‘admitting the article was flawed,'” Siegel tweeted.

“A chief &2 commissioners tweeting all day about this w/out ever addressing the substance of the column, and now saying ‘time to move on.'”

NYPD officials regularly release inaccurate information about crimes, such as when one police spokesperson falsely told a Patch reporter that a cop car struck a fellow officer.

In recent weeks alone, the department’s public information office has inaccurately identified the victim of a shooting death and multiple dates on which crimes had occurred. Those inaccuracies resulted in corrections.

Chell himself recently misidentified a judge in a social media post that criticized a bail decision.

Adams said Tuesday that police officials should be held accountable, but also the “free press” for reporting inaccuracies.

He then swerved into a defense of police officials who “stand up” for officers who place their lives on the line.

“So confirmed that Eric Adams knows about and supports NYPD harassing me and other journalists on social media for questioning him in an interview,” tweeted Olurin.

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