Eric Leroy Adams was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York on September 1, 1960. He received an A.A. from the New York City College of Technology, a B.A. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and an M.P.A. from Marist College. After graduating from the New York City Police Academy in 1984 as the highest-ranked student in his class, Adams launched a 22-year career as an officer with the NYPD. Claiming to have been unjustly beaten by NYPD officers when he was 15, he has spent much of his professional career trying to expose what he views as widespread police racism. The “culture of policing” in “communities of color,” Adams says, is based on a “Bull Connor mindset” which presumes that “black equals crime,” and that “using violence extremely quickly” against black suspects is appropriate.
In 1993 Adams praised the Nation of Islam (NOI) for having “proven that they can take a bite out of crime” by using “non-traditional methods of policing their communities” in urban areas. He criticized David Dinkins, New York City’s then-mayor who was actively seeking re-election, for “catering to other communities” by refusing to meet with NOI leaders, who were widely perceived as anti-white and anti-Semitic. Further, Adams lobbied activist Al Sharpton to withhold his endorsement from the mayor if Dinkins continued to resist a sit-down with NOI.
In 1994 Adams tried to run against a fellow Democrat, the incumbent Major Owens, for the 11th Congressional District seat representing central Brooklyn, but was unable to gather enough valid signatures to get his name on the ballot. Adams attacked Owens for having characterized NOI, which endorsed Adams’s campaign, as a “hate-mongering fringe group.” Moreover, Adams depicted Owens as a “hustler” who, in an effort to extract campaign contributions from the Jewish community, was “dangling [NOI leader Louis] Farrakhan like a Bogeyman.”
In 1994 as well, Adams derided local Hispanic politician Herman Badillo for being married to a Jewish woman, saying: “It’s insulting to the Hispanic community that he can go to the Hispanic community for support, but he can’t go to the Hispanic community when he’s picking a wife.”
Also in 1994, Adams condemned Jesse Jackson for having criticized an infamously racist and anti-Semitic speech by a Farrakhan aide named Khalid Abdul Muhammad. “I believe no matter what was said [by Muhammad], it’s time for us to realize the importance of what Farrakhan is trying to do around the issue of crime in this city,” said Adams. “… Jesse Jackson cannot deliver the African-American community as a debt to pay for the ‘Hymietown‘ statement. He is losing his credibility.”
In 1995 Adams co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an organization that protests against police practices which it views as racist and discriminatory. During the 1990s as well, Adams served as president of the Grand Council of Guardians, a national organization of black police officers.
From 1995 through the early 2000s, Adams re-branded himself as a Republican, saying that the Democratic Party had long taken the black vote for granted while failing to help that constituency in any meaningful way.
In the late 1990s, reports surfaced that Adams was associating with Omowale Clay, a convicted felon who in 1998 was seen exiting Adams’s car. Two subsequent police investigations failed to substantiate the charges against Adams, who in turn filed a lawsuit in which he accused police of illegally wiretapping his phones and monitoring his organization’s political activities. In 2003 a judge dismissed the suit as “baseless.”
Adams was angered when the management of Irving Plaza, a ballroom-style music facility in Manhattan, reneged on its agreement to serve as the venue for an August 2000 hip-hop concert, due to concerns that violence might erupt in response to one of the scheduled performers, known as “dead prez,” who was famous for pro-violence songs like Cop Shot and Assassination. “It would be naive to think it is not possible,” said Adams, that police pressure had caused “dead prez” to be blacklisted by the city. “The hip-hop community has been classified as [an] enemy of the state by law enforcement agencies,” Adams stated, but “hip-hop is no different than any other art form, any other culture, any other group of youths attempting to express themselves.”
In the spring of 2006, Adams and his “100 Blacks” organization released their Annual Report in which they gave New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly a grade of “F” for promotions and assignments, and a “D” for recruitment and retention. Adams’s principal complaint was that “91% of the NYPD uniformed personnel in the rank of captain or above are Caucasian.” But in fact, fully 56% of blacks who had passed the Department’s most recent test for captain were promoted to higher ranks, compared to only 39% of similarly qualified whites. Moreover, Kelly had already promoted more black chiefs than his two predecessors – Ben Ward and Lee Brown, both of whom were black – combined.
By the time Adams retired from the NYPD in 2006, he was once again identifying himself as a Democrat. That same year, he was elected, as a Democrat, to the New York State Senate, where he quickly established himself as a critic of police “stop, question and frisk” practices, which he portrayed as racially discriminatory. In a 2013 court proceeding, Adams testified that Raymond Kelly had once articulated a desire “to instill fear in the Latino and black communities” (to get guns off the streets). Kelly denied making the statement.
When Adams was chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee (in 2009), he and others were accused of improperly awarding casino video slot machine rights at the Aqueduct Race Track to Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG). The New York Post reported that Adams had received $14,500 in campaign contributions from AEG, and an Inspector General’s report found that Adams had indeed played a key role in persuading New York Governor David Paterson to select AEG for the contract.
In 2012, New York State Assemblywoman Shirley Huntley, who was under FBI investigation after she had stolen more than $87,000 in taxpayer funds from a nonprofit organization, agreed, in an effort to reduce her punishment, to set up surveillance equipment in her home and secretly record meetings with several of her Democratic colleagues. One of those Democrats was Eric Adams. No criminal charges were ever brought against Adams with regard to those meetings, and he denied that the tapes contained anything incriminating.
In November 2013, Adams was elected Brooklyn Borough President.
In March 2014, the New York Post reported that Adams had been soliciting donors for his “affiliated nonprofit,” the One Brooklyn Fund, even though the organization had not yet been formally established. As one legal expert explained, Adams’s action had the potential of triggering “fraud charges” because “you can’t raise money for a charity that doesn’t exist.”
In 2016, the New York Post published a story raising questions about Adams’ support of Lamor Whitehead, an ex-convict who had served five years in prison on multiple counts of identity fraud and grand larceny, who was now running a dubious youth-mentorship program called Leaders of Tomorrow Brooklyn (LTB). Adams appeared with Whitehead on numerous occasions to tout LTB’s efforts and to raise funds for it. Whitehead, however, was found to be raising money for LTB before it was even registered as a for-profit business in March of 2014. In November 2014, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office issued a cease-and-desist letter demanding that Whitehead stop falsely promoting LTB as a collaborative justice initiative with the DA. In addition, the NYPD and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce refuted claims by Whitehead that they, too, had been working together on various initiatives with LTB.
In November 2017, Adams was re-elected for a second term as Brooklyn Borough President. That same year, he was a strong supporter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s successful re-election bid. Indeed, Adams and de Blasio collaborated to hold a number of fundraising events at New York City restaurants run by two brothers, Robert and Zhan Petrosyants, who are friends of Adams and have been convicted of money laundering. Robert Petrosyants, for his part, donated $1,000 to Adams in June 2013 — a year after prosecutors had indicted the restaurateur for money laundering.
At a private event held by the Harlem Business Alliance on December 13, 2019, Adams, speaking about the toughness and focus he had displayed during his time as a member of the NYPD, referred to his white former colleagues at the Department as “crackers.” “Every day in the Police Department, I kicked those crackers’ ass,” he said. (Click here for video.)
In November 2021, Adams was elected mayor of New York City, defeating Republican candidate Curtis Sliwa by a margin of 67.4% to 27.9%. Adams was subsequently sworn in as mayor shortly after midnight on January 1, 2022.
In early January 2022, Adams signed into law a bill, recently approved by the New York City Council, allowing up to one million noncitizens living in NYC to vote in local political elections. “I believe that New Yorkers should have a say in their government, which is why I have and will continue to support this important legislation,” Adams said in a statement on January 8. “While I initially had some concerns about one aspect of the bill,” he added, “I had a productive dialogue with my colleagues in government that put those concerns at ease. I believe allowing the legislation to be enacted is by far the best choice, and look forward to bringing millions more into the democratic process.”
In February 2022, Adams was appointed as a co-chair of Everytown for Gun Safety‘s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). Appointed as fellow co-chairs were Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott; Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly; former Columbia (South Carolina) Mayor Steve Benjamin; St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones; Mount Vernon (New York) Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard; Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas; former Stockton, California Mayor Michael Tubbs; Tampa Mayor Jane Castor; and Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. The founding chairman of MAIG was former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
At an April 4, 2022 press conference at City Hall, Adams announced the start of a new advertising campaign that would use five digital billboards to try to entice Floridians to relocate to New York City. The billboards’ pitch would focus on the alleged injustice of Florida’s recently enacted Parental Rights in Education bill, which Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had signed into law a week earlier. Though the legislation was misrepresented by leftist critics as a “Don’t Say ‘Gay’” bill that supposedly prohibited any and all use of the word “gay” in Florida schools, the bill merely banned classroom discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity by teachers of young children in grades 3 and below. The text of the bill stated: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” The billboards — which would be displayed for eight weeks in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach — contained the following messages:
Adams voiced his hope that these billboards, by depicting New York City as a place that welcomed LGBT people much more readily than Florida, might help reverse the recent trend that had seen massive numbers of New Yorkers relocating to Florida. Said the mayor: “We are going to loudly show our support, to say to those who are living in Florida, ‘Listen, we want you here in New York. Want you right here in New York City.’ It’s more than just saying that. It’s also standing up and aligning ourselves with the men and women of LGBTQ-plus community, and state that we are in unison with you and your right to have a self-identification, your right to live the lifestyle, live the life that you choose to live, without any form of harassment.” “Other folks want people to hide their color,” Adams added. “We’d like to show our color, and this rainbow is representative of this community. We want to remind everyone that New York City is full of people who will be celebrated now and in the future. This is the city of Stonewall, and we will continue to … be supportive of this community that has contributed to the diversity of our city.” Also citing the fact that the billboards had been donated to New York, Adams boasted: “This is costing New York City taxpayers nothing. Taxpayers are not paying a penny for that.”
In June 2022, Adams spoke out in support of a taxpayer-funded program that sent drag queens to tell stories to children in libraries and public schools. Such drag queens had appeared at 34 public elementary, middle, and high schools in New York City since the start of the year. “Drag storytellers, and the libraries and schools that support them, are advancing a love of diversity, personal expression, and literacy that is core to what our city embraces,” Adams tweeted on June 16. In another tweet that same day, he added: “At a time when our LGBTQ+ communities are under increased attack across this country, we must use our education system to educate. The goal is not only for our children to be academically smart, but also emotionally intelligent.”
During a press conference in late July 2022, Adams told his constituents that it was their civic duty to welcome the fact that their schools, hospitals, roads, and neighborhoods were being inundated with the many illegal aliens who were settling in New York City, as in many other cities, during the Biden administration. Among the mayor’s remarks were the following:
In response to Adams’ remarks, Texas Governor Greg Abbott subsequently sent New York City two buses filled with dozens of illegal aliens who had recently entered Texas unlawfully. “In addition to Washington, D.C., New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city,” Abbott said in a statement on August 5. “I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief.” Adams, in turn, said at an August 7, 2022 news conference: “This is horrific when you think about what the governor is doing.” Moreover, Adams complained that Abbott’s administration was not giving NYC authorities advance notice vis-a-vis when the migrants could be expected to arrive in New York. “They’re not letting us know when the buses are leaving. They’re not letting us know what are the needs of the people on the bus. They are not giving us any information, so we’re unable to really provide the service to people en route.”
At a news conference on August 9, 2022, Adams suggested that he himself might lead a busload of New Yorkers down to Texas to campaign against Governor Abbott. “I already called all my friends in Texas and told them how to cast their votes,” said Adams. “And I am deeply contemplating taking a busload of New Yorkers to go to Texas and do some good old-fashioned door knocking because we have to, for the good of America, we have to get him [Abbott] out of office.”
On August 17, 2022 — at a time when average apartment rentals in New York City had recently reached an all-time high of $3,500 per month — the New York Post reported that the Adams administration was scrambling to find thousands of hotel rooms in which it could house the illegals who were flooding into the city:
“City officials are urgently seeking another 5,000 rooms in Big Apple hotels to house migrants bound for New York City from the southern border…. There is no price tag attached to the request that was released Wednesday [August 17], which was made under the emergency contracting powers invoked by Mayor Eric Adams when the migrant crisis first began in the city. It marks a dramatic expansion of the city’s efforts to secure temporary housing for the recent arrivals, sources say.
“The Department of Homeless Services had previously asked nonprofit social service providers to send in proposals to rent rooms and provide aid for 600 families set to be housed in a luxury Midtown hotel, the Row NYC on 8th Avenue. The new request for providers to secure thousands of rooms in hotels across the city is in addition to that, city officials confirmed. And it would come on top of the estimated 200 already secured and providing housing for families at the Skyline Hotel on 10th Avenue. If fully implemented, it would bring the number of hotel rooms rented for migrants in the city shelter system up to nearly 6,000. City Hall estimates that more than 4,000 migrants, many of whom are seeking asylum, have arrived in the five boroughs in recent weeks — and have become the subject of a high-profile feud between Hizzoner and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.”
A New York Post analysis calculated that NYC “could be on the hook for more than $300 million per year to provide shelter space in hotels for newly arrived migrants.”
Meanwhile, at a mid-August “Resource and Family Fun Day” event organized for illegal migrants and their children by the New York City hospital system, hundreds of migrants lined up outside Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx to take advantage of free giveaways of items like food, library cards, cell phones, back-to-school supplies, and health care coverage (offered by MetroPlusHealth).