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Eric Adams Defends New ‘Gun Violence Czar’ Andre T. Mitchell


Mayor Eric Adams brushed aside the days of bad press after choosing an activist with a checkered past as his “gun violence prevention czar”, asking worshipers on Sunday to tell skeptics to “leave him alone”.

Speaking to congregants at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brooklyn, Adams criticized the pharmaceutical and food industries, saying they were taking advantage of black Americans – before saying he had been unfairly pilloried by the media.

“People have made money with us. … People have made so much money from us. Now I’m coming. I don’t fight against politicians; I am fighting against their profiteering,” he said at the end of the 18-minute speech. “And what I say and what I do is hurt the bottom line of these systems that have eaten away at us for years.

“That’s why you see all these negative stories in the paper about me,” the mayor added. “That’s why you hear all these attacks. That’s why you hear the constant “why Eric shouldn’t have been mayor”. That’s what you hear.

While Hizzoner didn’t elaborate on the unflattering coverage, his speech came four days after naming Andre T. Mitchell as his “gun violence czar,” tasked with curbing the Big Apple’s shootings.

Mayor Eric Adams spoke about the negative media coverage of his administration during a speech at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brooklyn on June 5, 2022.
Michael Dalton

In 2019, the city’s investigative department found Mitchell’s Cure Violence nonprofit — which has received $26.6 million in city funding since 2010 — had significant financial irregularities.

An investigation found Mitchell allegedly used band money for personal gain and gave jobs to family members, The City newspaper reported at the time. Over the past two years, more than $15,000 from credit card and delivery sales collected by an East New York cafe run by the group have ended up in Mitchell’s personal bank account.

Brownsville-raised Mitchell — who was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in 1988 for a murder he says he didn’t commit — formed Man Up! more than a decade after his parole in 1992.

Eric Adams Defends New ‘Gun Violence Czar’ Andre T. Mitchell
Adams’ speech about negative media coverage came days after he chose controversial activist Andre T. Mitchell to be his gun violence czar.
REUTERS/Mike Segar
Eric Adams Defends New ‘Gun Violence Czar’ Andre T. Mitchell
Mitchell will be tasked with reducing gun violence plaguing the city.
Stephen Shaver/Shutterstock

On Sunday, Adams — whose base of support came from the working class and middle class of outlying boroughs when he won the Democratic mayoral primary last year — told predominantly black church worshipers in Bedford -Stuyvesant to disconnect from the negative press about him. .

“And so, when you have all these people running around looking like us and buying into this philosophy, I need you to say in a very godly way, ‘Nigger, if you’re not gonna help him, let- the only one and let him do his job,” he said.

Also during his Sunday speech, the mainly vegan mayor – who said he reversed his type 2 diabetes with a plant-based diet – encouraged those in the pews to adopt healthy eating habits.

Eric Adams Defends New ‘Gun Violence Czar’ Andre T. Mitchell
In 2019, the city’s investigative department discovered that Mitchell’s nonprofit Cure Violence had financial irregularities.
EPA/JUSTIN LANE

“It’s not in our DNA; it’s in our dinner. It’s not in our line; it’s in our lunch. It’s not where we were born; it’s our breakfast,” the sane former state senator said, comparing junk food to crack in his addiction. “When I woke up and my vision loss was gone, the nerve damage was gone, the ulcer was gone, I mean it was such a powerful moment that all I had to do was change my life.”

“I lost 35 pounds. I tell people I don’t have a six-pack; I have a case. My body is tight now,” he added with a laugh.

New York Post

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