Eric Adams admits he was 'shocked' at 'how bad' NYC was before taking office

Adams was sworn in as New York City's mayor on Jan. 1 amid ongoing crime spikes

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he was "shocked" at "how bad" New York City had become after reviewing internal data upon taking office. 

"Let me tell you something: When I started looking into this, I was shocked at how bad this place is," he said of the city in comment to the New York Post.

Adams made the remarks while riding the city’s subway system for more than three hours last week, and described to the outlet that he began reviewing internal data on city operations after he was sworn in on Jan. 1 of this year. 

"It was probably the third — third or fourth week in January. I spent a lot of time in the office," he said.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 06: New York Mayor Eric Adams is joined by NYPD Deputy Chief Jason Savino (left) and NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig at a Brooklyn police facility where it was announced that arrests have been made against violent street gangs on June 06, 2022 in New York City. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 06: New York Mayor Eric Adams is joined by NYPD Deputy Chief Jason Savino (left) and NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig at a Brooklyn police facility where it was announced that arrests have been made against violent street gangs on June 06, 2022 in New York City.  ((Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images))

"And I started peeling back layers and what it started to unveil to me is how we just had this good shell, but underneath — it’s bad."

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Adams campaigned on a platform that would crack down on crime after the city saw skyrocketing violence under former Mayor Bill de Blasio, which came as the U.S. overall saw an increase in homicides and spikes in shootings. 

Adams, a former transit officer who then rose the ranks of the NYPD to captain before being elected Brooklyn Borough president, told the New York Post that the NYPD, "as one example," had not been "utilized" with "all our skills."

In this livestream frame grab from video provided by NYPD News, Mayor Eric Adams, foreground, with city law officials, speaks at a news conference inside a subway station after a woman was pushed to her death in front of a subway train at the Times Square station, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in New York. (NYPD News via AP)

In this livestream frame grab from video provided by NYPD News, Mayor Eric Adams, foreground, with city law officials, speaks at a news conference inside a subway station after a woman was pushed to her death in front of a subway train at the Times Square station, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in New York. (NYPD News via AP) (NYPD News via AP)

Crime tapered off in 2018 for New York City, with 1,207 fewer crime incidents across the board compared to 2017, according to the NYPD. However, by 2021, de Blasio’s last year in office and on the heels of 2020’s violent year for the entire country, New York City recorded increases in nearly every major crime category compared to the city’s already bloody 2020.

Six months into 2022, New York City has recorded a 25.8% jump in violent crimes as of mid-June compared to the same time in 2021. 

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The Empire State Building towers above other largely empty office buildings on March 4, 2021, in New York City.

The Empire State Building towers above other largely empty office buildings on March 4, 2021, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Adams took issue with previous mayors of the city for focusing on a single "pet project," pointing to the city’s universal "pre-K" that was implemented during de Blasio’s tenure, to build a "legacy." 

"You know, they hold onto this one thing," he said. 

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"That’s why when people try to say, ‘OK, Eric, you know, what is your one or two things?,’ I’m saying: To fix this mess!"