New York City’s incoming Democratic Mayor Eric Adams held a press gathering on Wednesday to announce to the public his choice for commissioner of the NYC Police Department. He made an interesting choice of venue, as his announcement came in front of a mural depicting a convicted cop killer and several other leftist revolutionary icons.
Adams presented Keechant Sewell, who currently serves as Nassau County chief of detectives, as the next NYPD commissioner at a Queens public housing project attended by dozens of uniformed city police officers.
The backdrop for the press conference was a large mural depicting Black Panther founder Huey Newton, Communist Party leader Angela Davis, Malcolm X, and convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur.
The mural provided a sharp disconnect from Adams’ campaign promises to combat the city’s surging crime. Adams is a former NYPD officer and has emphasized his endorsement by the city’s largest police union. He has received criticism from progressives who object to a “broken window” philosophy that enforces more minor crimes to deter more serious violent crimes. Leftists have also spoken out against the mayor-elect’s plan to bring back a plainclothes officer unit.
The mural chosen for the press conference setting contains revolutionary heroes by many anti-police activist organizations.
Shakur was a member of the Black Liberation Army when she was convicted in 1973 of the murder of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster.
Newton was convicted in 1968 of manslaughter after killing Oakland, California, police officer John Frey. Although he was also suspected of at least one other murder, his conviction was overturned in 1970.
Adams conducted an extensive selection process before deciding on Sewell for the NYPD commissioner position. Sewell participated in at least one mock press conference where she was called on to answer questions about a scenario where a white police officer shoots an unarmed black man. Sewell will be the third black New York City police commissioner and the first woman to hold the job.