President Joe Biden will come to New York City next week to meet with Mayor Eric Adams about the effort to combat gun violence in the city, the White House said Wednesday.
The visit comes amid a worsening gun problem - shooting incidents in NYC are up 24% this year compared to the same period in 2021.
"On Thursday, February 3, the President will travel to New York, New York and join with Mayor Eric Adams to discuss the Administration’s comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime, which includes historic levels of funding for cities and states to put more cops on the beat and invest in community violence prevention and intervention programs, as well as stepped up federal law enforcement efforts against illegal gun traffickers," the White House said in a statement.
Biden spoke with Adams by telephone on Monday night to offer his condolences over last Friday's shooting of New York Police Department Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week. Psaki said the president told Adams, who has held office for less than a month, that he is committed to being a strong federal partner for New York City and other jurisdictions that have been struggling with increased gun crime during the past two years.
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Rivera, 22, died the night of the shooting. His partner, Wilbert Mora, 27, was removed from life support on Tuesday, four days after the officers were fatally wounded after they were called to a Harlem apartment by a woman who said she needed help with her adult son.
Authorities said the man, Lashawn J. McNeil, 47, opened a bedroom door and shot the officers as they walked down a narrow hall. A third officer shot McNeil as he tried to flee. McNeil died Monday.
In anticipation of Biden's visit, Adams said: “I look forward to welcoming President Biden to New York City next week and sitting down to discuss how we can work collaboratively to end the scourge of gun violence we are seeing on New York City streets.”
Adams unveiled a "Blueprint to End Gun Violence" on Monday, part of which was a renewed call for federal support for universal background checks and an assault weapon ban. The mayor also wants the police department to use facial recognition and other technology to identify people carrying weapons, expand cash rewards for tipsters who share information on gun-related crimes and for the city to help businesses pay to install surveillance cameras.