NYC Mayor Adams Taps Felon to Serve as Anti-Gun Czar
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the creation of a gun violence czar to address violent crime over the upcoming summer.
In an executive order issued on Thursday, Adams named Andre Mitchell, a former felon and local anti-gun violence activist, to the post — Chair of the Mayor’s Gun Violence Prevention Task Force — on a volunteer basis. Mitchell is the founder of an organization, ‘Man Up!’ that was formed to stop shootings in urban communities. He founded the group after serving a prison sentencefor first-degree manslaughter in 1992.
“This is the civil rights battle of our lifetime, dealing with how guns are destroying not only individuals, but is destroying the anatomy of our cities and our communities,” said Mr. Adams at a rally with Mitchell outside City Hall on Thursday. Asked about his appointee, he said Mitchell had been a friend of 30 years, and he “didn’t have to find people; I have relationships with people.” Adams added, “We respect each other’s expertise.”
Mitchell’s organization has been controversial for its past actions and statements. One of the main protest tactics used by the group — i.e., ‘disruption’ — where teams of activists swarm neighborhoods with high shooting rates to position themselves between shooters and victims. This method — termed by Mitchell as ‘Cure Violence’ or “precision prevention” — has attracted criticism for endangering activists by placing them in the line of fire.
‘Man Up!’ has also been under investigation for misuse of municipal funding by city officials. A report by the City’s Office of Investigations in 2019 found serious “irregularities” in the group’s handling of city funds, of which it has received over $25 million since 2010. Another investigation targeting Mitchell, personally, found that he’d used the non-profit’s funds for personal expenses and employed family members in remunerative positions. His daughter was appointed the group’s ‘Director of Administration,’ making $65,000 a year, while his son was a program instructor making $30,000 a year.
The organization was later required to create a “corrective action plan” to fix its financial woes. Per reporting by the New York Post, ‘Man Up!’ holds at least four city contracts.
Mitchell has said that ‘Man Up!’ and its disruption work will continue during his time as Task Force Chairman. Also on the panel will be NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, all of the city’s Deputy Mayors, the Chancellor of the public schooling system, and the Chief Housing Officer, among other officials.
In recent years, gun violence in New York City has increased in summer months, which Adams has previously lamented on ‘PIX on Politics,’ a local TV station in April. The move is part of Adams’ broader efforts to combat gun crime in the city, including the controversial reintroduction of Neighborhood Safety Teams — a plainclothes police unit that works to seize guns and arrest criminal gangs using them.
The unit was abolished on orders of then-Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2020, owing to concerns of racial bias. Since then, however, a federal agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security told National Review that police had been asking federal authorities to increase their arrests and federal prosecutions of gun crimes — citing a lack of funding and bail reform laws pushed by local Democrats.
Original Article: https://www.nationalreview.com/news/nyc-mayor-eric-adams-taps-convicted-felon-to-serve-as-anti-gun-violence-czar/