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Elected Officials, Religious Leaders Speak on Public Safety, Unity in Wake of Shootings Against NYPD

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What to Know

  • Religious and elected leaders from across New York City gathered outside 1 Police Plaza on Monday to urge for public safety and unity after two police officers were shot and injured over the weekend
  • Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, himself a former NYPD officer, joined business, community, religious and elected leaders to speak out
  • The event comes after a gunman, identified by authorities as Robert Williams, allegedly attempted to assassinate several police officers in two separate attacks that took place in the Bronx's 41st Precinct on Saturday night and Sunday morning

Religious and elected leaders from across New York City gathered outside 1 Police Plaza on Monday to urge for public safety and unity after two police officers were shot and injured over the weekend.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, himself a former NYPD officer, joined business, community, religious and elected leaders to speak outside NYPD headquarters around noon.

The event comes after a gunman, identified by authorities as Robert Williams, allegedly attempted to assassinate several police officers in two separate attacks that took place in the Bronx's 41st Precinct on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Two officers were shot and both were hospitalized with injuries after the attacks. They are expected to make a full recovery.

Joseph Potasnik, of the New York Board of Rabbis, was among those who spoke out on Monday against, what he described as, an "insane climate where police are being targeted."

Rev. Jay Gooding, president of the 49th Precinct Clergy Council and the executive board of the 44th Precinct Clergy Coalition, said the community must stand up to violence.

"Any violence perpetrated on any one of our officers is a violence that is perpetrated on all of us," he said.

Meanwhile, Adams said the "message was clear."

"There was an attempted assassination of several law enforcement officers. The assassination failed, but there was an assassination on the symbol of public safety -- and that is something we cannot tolerate," he said.

The suspect in the weekend NYPD ambush shootings that injured two officers is expected to be arraigned Monday. Tracie Strahan has the latest.

"Those bullets may have hit the body of the officer, but it has ripped apart the anatomy of public safety in this city," Adams said. "That is unacceptable."

But the officials gathered outside police headquarters also criticized police union leaders -- like Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins. 

Who tweeted “Mayor DeBlasio, the members of the NYPD are declaring war on you! We do not respect you, DO NOT visit us in hospitals.”

Mullins defended his language Monday. Upset that City Hall was slow to condemn an anti-police protest last week. Even though that protest has not been linked to the actions of the Bronx shooter. 

“This mayor is not gonna continue to run this city on the backs of the NYPD," Mullins said.

The coalition also touched upon gun reform in New York City. They also briefly discussed community engagement, outreach and youth programs.

"We have to change the culture -- we have to change the narrative," Council member Fernando Cabrera, who represents the Bronx, said. "I'm glad that today we are coming together unified, to say that enough is enough."

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said his hope is for the police to see the "array of voices all across the city and know that we support you. It's not just words."

"We can discuss reforms and better policing and honor our police officers at the very same time," Williams said, adding that the shootings were absolutely senseless.

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