Eric Adams, Democratic candidate for mayor of New York and big favorite to win the November election, said on Sunday that cops who follow their department’s rules should be immune from prosecution for actions at work – except for “reckless” conduct as in George’s death. Floyd.
“I back it up with an asterisk,” Adams, a former cop, said on CNN’s “State of the Union”, when asked about his position on a potential federal measure on qualified immunity, that Congressional Democrats are considering repealing as part of their police reform legislation.
Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine that protects government officials such as the police from being personally liable in civil proceedings if they have not broken the law.
Adams, the Brooklyn Borough President, said on Sunday that if an officer abides by the rules and regulations to which he is subject, civilians should not be able to derive monetary damages from them.
“I don’t believe that a police officer who performs his job the way he’s been trained to do it should be exposed to legal action,” he told host Jake Tapper. “If he pursues an armed person who discharges a gun, and this policeman unloads his gun and an innocent person is hit by that weapon, we should not leave this policeman open to a chase.”
But Adams said he supports a federal repeal of a law that exempts police officers from civil liability while insuring police in cases where an officer is irrelevant, such as former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin.
“When you look at the Floyd case, when it’s clear that the officer has gone beyond his responsibilities, that officer should be open to legal action,” Adams explained.
“So I don’t think we should prosecute the officers who do their job and some of the dangers of that job, but those who go outside of those boundaries and recklessly commit an act that causes [loss of] life, serious injury, they should be open to prosecution, personally.
After the city council past a measure repealing qualified immunity for NYPD officers, Adams said in April it was “imperative” to lift qualified immunity for officers behaving badly.
“It is imperative to remove qualified immunity, especially with officers recklessly ignoring the role they play,” the retired NYPD captain said in an April 24 CBS. interview. “But we have to do it in a way that doesn’t prosecute agents who commit lawful actions.”
Also on Sunday, Adams praised President Biden for addressing the daily gun violence inflicted by people in predominantly black towns using handguns – rather than focusing on the assault rifles used in mass shootings less frequent.
“I think those priorities, they were really misplaced, and it’s almost insulting but we’ve seen them over the last few years,” he told CNN. “They knew they were facing this real crisis, and it took this president to declare that it’s time for us to stop ignoring what is happening on the South Side of Chicago, in the Brownsville, in the Atlantas of our country. “
Meanwhile, the likely success of Mayor Bill de Blasio has advised that even vaccinated New Yorkers should wear face coverings indoors.
“I think we should err on the side of caution,” he told CNN.
“Whatever we can do to make sure we don’t repeat the pandemic experience we had, we should build on it. “
Adams on ABC continued his victory lap on national television on Sunday morning, again proclaiming that Democrats across the country should learn a lesson from his victory.
“We cannot be so idealistic that we are unrealistic,” he said.
Asked by presenter George Stephanopoulos whether, given his moderate positions on policing and other issues, it is appropriate to call him an “anti-awakening Democrat,” Adams joked, “Some of between us never fell asleep “.
“I never fell asleep.