Eric Adams says naming brother deputy NYPD commissioner protects him from 'White supremacy'

Adams says his brother will 'be in charge of my security'

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams defended naming his brother as deputy NYPD commissioner, explaining he will help protect him from the "increase in White supremacy" in the city.  

"Let me be clear on this: My brother is qualified for the position. Number one, he will be in charge of my security, which is extremely important to me at a time when we see an increase in White supremacy and hate crimes," Adams said Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s "State of the Union."

"I have to take my security in a very serious way."

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Bernard Adams, a 56-year-old retired NYPD sergeant, was appointed to the job, according to the New York Post last week. He currently serves as assistant director for parking at Virginia Commonwealth University, according to his LinkedIn account, where he has worked since 2011.

Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president and Democratic candidate for New York City mayor speaks during a debate with Republican candidate for New York City mayor Curtis Sliwa at the ABC 7 studios in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. 

Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president and Democratic candidate for New York City mayor speaks during a debate with Republican candidate for New York City mayor Curtis Sliwa at the ABC 7 studios in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021.  ((Eduardo Munoz/Pool Photo via AP))

The newly-minted mayor faced nepotism criticisms after the appointment was first reported. It will come down to the Conflict of Interest Board to "make the determination" on whether Adams can officially hire his brother, the mayor said. 

"That process is underway," he told reporters Sunday. 

Adams doubled down on defending the decision following his CNN interview, citing New York’s "serious problem with White supremacy."

"Protection is personal. You have an increase of anarchists in this city, country. We have a serious problem with White supremacy. And when you talk about this type of security that I want, it’s extremely unique. I don’t want to be away from my public," he said in Manhattan, the New York Post reported.  

"I trust my brother. My brother understands me," he continued. "And if I have to put my life in someone’s hands, I want to put it in the hands of a person that I trust deeply, because that is a very personal process of your security."

Hate crimes spiked in New York City last year by 100%. Anti-Semitic and anti-Asian hate crimes accounted for more than half of the hate crimes, former New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said last month. The NYPD tracks hate crimes based on the bias type of the incidents, such as religion, race or sexual orientation. 

The NYPD investigated a white supremacy group, called the New Jersey European Heritage Association, on Staten Island in 2020 after dozens of fliers and stickers were found across various neighborhoods urging people to "Reclaim your nation." The Anti-Defamation League said last year that the group has a "small number" of supporters but is "definitely growing." 

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The mayor’s office directed Fox News to the NYPD when asked if the mayor has faced threats from White supremacists. 

The NYPD said Adams received a "two hour security briefing by the Intelligence Bureau covering foreign and domestic violent extremists groups and the current threat stream as it effects New York City." The department did not provide specifics on possible threats against the mayor. 

FILE - New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a news conference in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. More than 800,000 noncitizens and so-called Dreamers in New York City will have access to the ballot box, and could vote in municipal elections as early as 2023, after Adams allowed legislation approved by the City Council a month earlier to automatically become law on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

FILE - New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a news conference in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. More than 800,000 noncitizens and so-called Dreamers in New York City will have access to the ballot box, and could vote in municipal elections as early as 2023, after Adams allowed legislation approved by the City Council a month earlier to automatically become law on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

"I need that right balance, and I don’t want the people of this city to believe that the mayor is not approachable and he’s not willing to engage with them on the level that I want to represent," Adams said Sunday, the New York Post reported. "You saw I took the subway system on my Day One in office, and those are the types of things that I’m going to do.

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"My brother has a community-affairs background, that balance that I need, he understands law enforcement. He was 20-year retired veteran from the Police Department, and I need someone that I trust around me during these times with my security, and I trust my brother deeply."