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NYC's Crime-Fighting Mayor
A multi-media journey into the mind of Mayor Eric Adams
This week’s episode of Rat Report is a multi-media experience (it includes a Youtube video), so crank up the volume and pop in those Airpods if you’re at work.
After my last article about the Department of Sanitation’s Mascots I became enthralled by the mayor of New York City, Eric Adams. He is quoted as saying “trust me when I tell you, there’s never going to be another mayor like me,” and I fully believe him; Mayor Adams is a renegade who does things his own way and doesn’t quite resemble a traditional mayor. In fact, in many ways he more closely resembles a cartoon character or an extraterrestrial than a traditional mayor. Café Anne has referred to him as “New York City’s first AI-generated mayor.” But who needs a regular old boring mayor when you could have a crime-fighting, rat-killing, nightlife-loving mayor?
Mayor Adams is an intriguing figure. Where did he come from? What is his story? I began doing some research on Mayor Adams and was quickly overwhelmed. It seemed that each news story described some new bizarre behavior and branched off into other articles describing other types of bizarre behavior. For each rabbit hole I attempted to follow I'd discover several others until I eventually gave up. I'll start, as best as I can, from the beginning.
According to Wikipedia, Mayor Adams grew up poor in a rat-infested Brooklyn tenement. This might explain his hatred of rats, which he loves bringing up. He joined the police force and rose to the rank of Captain before he retired from the force to pursue a career in politics, first as a state senator, then as the Brooklyn Borough President, and then ultimately as the mayor of New York City.
As an ex-cop, he's known for his tough-on-crime approach and has implemented a zero-tolerance policy for homeless people sleeping in subway cars. This policy was news to me, and would probably also be news to all the sleeping homeless people I ride the subway with every morning on my way to work.
Here are some more fun facts about Mayor Adams. They are simply direct excerpts from Wikipedia, as I am not funny enough to make these up:
“At age 14, Adams joined a gang, the 7-Crowns, and became known as ‘a tough little guy’. […] He also ran errands, including purchasing groceries, for a dancer and part-time prostitute named Micki after she became injured.”
“After a spike in rat complaints, […] he promoted new traps that lured rats with nuts and seeds before knocking them out and drowning them. He showed a group of reporters one of the traps that had caught rats around Brooklyn Borough Hall. He presented their corpses in an effort to demonstrate the trap's effectiveness.” (More on this later)
“On his first day in office, Adams rode the New York City Subway to City Hall. On the subway ride, Adams witnessed a street fight and called 9-1-1.”
“On February 23, 2022, Adams called on companies based in New York City to rescind remote work policies put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying ‘you can’t stay home in your pajamas all day.’“
“Adams has earned the nickname ‘Nightlife Mayor’ due to his penchant for frequently clubbing in the city on Friday and Saturday nights.”
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I was particularly intrigued by the device which Adams, then the Brooklyn Borough President, was championing which lures rats with nuts and seeds before knocking the rats out and drowning them in a water and alcohol-based solution. The contraption, dubbed "Eric Adams' Rat Bucket" by various online outlets, was revealed at a press event during which he had the rat corpses displayed for journalists. See the video below (sound on!):
During the event Adams gleefully snapped photos as a man used a ladle to carefully fish limp rat carcasses out of a murky soup and display each one for photos.
During his mayoral campaign, Adams landed in some hot water after his tax returns for the years 2017 through 2019 were revealed to be incomplete, prompting him to submit amended tax returns after they became public. Adams explained that there may have been a few mistakes here and there because his tax returns are prepared by his homeless accountant.
He also made this video teaching parents how to search their children's rooms in an effort to curb gun violence.
There's a lot to unpack in this video. It has a shaky, homemade quality that makes it seem more like he's running for student council president than mayor of New York City. In the video he explains that parents should regularly search the rooms of their children for contraband, and have tough conversations with their kids about any unsavory items they find.
He demonstrates how to search a room and quickly detects two handguns, bullets, a crack pipe, and two bags of assorted narcotics, a skill which surely makes him a hit at the annual Easter egg hunt.
He mentions that parents can search any part of their homes at will, and states several times that "there are no first amendment rights in your home," which doesn't make a whole lot of sense given that the first amendment covers freedom of speech, while the fourth amendment protects against unlawful search and seizure. But who needs to know the Bill of Rights anyway? Certainly not an ex-police captain and aspiring mayor. Let those geeks in Washington worry about amendments and let the Nightlife Mayor worry about searching bedrooms and dunking rats.
My favorite part is when he holds up a roller-backpack and calls it a "popular knapsack," then reveals that a used crack pipe is hidden inside which should prompt the parent to start a conversation with the child.
If your teenager is going to school with a roller-backpack, then I think a used crack pipe is the least of your concerns. Maybe you should sit down and have a serious conversation with your teen about their choice of backpacks, and then maybe address the used crack pipe later if there's time.
I'm sorry, but no child with a roller-backpack has two guns and a bag of cocaine hidden in their room. In fact, as soon as you see a roller-backpack you can probably conclude the search for contraband altogether.
As Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams slept in his office during the early stages of the Covid pandemic. I strongly encourage you to watch the video in the beginning of the following article because it is highly amusing.
In the video, you can see Adams shuffling around Borough Hall in his slippers, meditating (next to his slippers), laying on a mattress on the floor next to his desk, reading books on leadership during difficult times, and making smoothies which apparently contain sea moss. He also appears ready to cook anything he desires with his trusty pots and pans hanging next to his shoes, and his appliances which include an air frier, a slow cooker, a hot plate, and an iron.
He explains that sleeping at Borough Hall during the pandemic helped him hit the ground running each day to respond to the crisis at hand. I commend his enthusiasm, but worry that the lines between work and home may have begun to blur for him as he walked around the office in his slippers each day. Thankfully, he eventually decided to move back home and resume wearing normal clothes to work. After all, as a very wise mayor once said, "you can’t stay home in your pajamas all day."
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