Eric Adams lashed into mayoral rival Maya Wiley for paying to have private security patrol her leafy Brooklyn enclave while pushing to defund the NYPD, calling it “the highest level of hypocrisy.”
“What do I tell Justin’s mom? That protection is only for affluent New Yorkers?” Adams said Tuesday during a Queens campaign event, referring to 10-year-old Justin Wallace who was shot dead in Rockaway on Sunday during a dispute between neighbors over parking.
“When I read that article today, to learn that a candidate in the race has private security while they’re saying to other families that are frightened over gun violence, that you don’t need any more security. That’s just not fair. That’s not fair,” Adams said.
The Post reported Monday that the Prospect Park South neighborhood association where Wiley lives in a $2.7 million historic mansion pays for a security guard to drive around the wealthy area daily. Households, including Wiley’s live-in partner Harlan Mandel, chip in $550 a year for the privilege.
Meanwhile, Wiley, a civil rights attorney and former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, wants to cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget.
“To me, that’s the highest level of hypocrisy. Security … must be for every New Yorker and this is what I’ve been saying on this trail over and over and over again,” Adams said.
“I just think this is the wrong message when you have private security and at the same time, you’re telling New Yorkers ‘you don’t need more security.’ That’s just not right,” he said.
“New Yorkers deserve public security, and it’s called NYPD, that gives both justice and safety,” Adams said.
Andrew Yang, who does not support cutting the NYPD’s budget, said all New Yorkers deserve to be safe, not just the wealthy ones.
“In certain communities residents have come together to invest in their own sanitation services or in this case their own security and that’s not the right approach for New York,” Yang said at a Bronx campaign stop.
“New Yorkers know that we need to deliver this to every neighborhood regardless of how well resourced the people in that community are,” Yang said.
Wiley distanced herself from her neighborhood patrol Tuesday, saying her partner pays for the service because he’s still shaken from being badly beaten during a 2001 mugging in the neighborhood.
“It’s a story about trauma because the reality is I don’t believe in private security, and I didn’t know we were paying for it,” Wiley said.
“But in his trauma he decided to pay for the neighborhood security,” she said.
“When you have loved ones who are traumatized, you don’t start by telling them what they can and can’t do,” Wiley explained.
“Private security doesn’t work. My partner doesn’t think it works, he’s pushed by trauma to grasp onto anything that makes him feel safer,” Wiley said.
Additional reporting by Len La Rocca and Sam Raskin