Hawk Newsome: BLM leader warns ‘bloodshed’ after police reform debate with Eric Adams
The Bronx resident co-founded the Greater New York chapter of Black Lives Matter eight years ago
A Black Lives Matter leader has warned of "bloodshed" after debating police reform with New York City's Mayor-elect Eric Adams during a sitdown at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Wednesday, November 10. The mayor-elect was meeting community leaders and activists including New York BLM co-founder Hawk Newsome; the meeting go heated in parts.
Adams resonated with the activists in his plans to fight poverty in the Black community. However, the former NYPD captain also vowed to bring back the Anti-Crime Unit, which was disbanded following widespread police protests last year. “If they think they are going back to the old ways of policing then we’re going to take to the streets again," Newsome said outside Borough Hall. “There will be riots. There will be fire, and there will be bloodshed.” Speaking to the New York Post, Newsome said Adams would be "tone deaf" to "ignore that history and say you’re bringing it back," referring to the task force whose officers were involved in the deaths of Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, and Eric Garner.
Who is Hawk Newsome?
Newsome, 43, a Black Lives Matter activist, is the chairperson of BLM Greater NY - an action coalition that works toward empowering Black communities in Greater New York. The activist co-founded the Greater New York chapter of Black Lives Matter eight years ago. Meanwhile, Newsome is also a cast member on 'Cop Watch America' on the BET network, which is a show chronicling the activism of vigilant citizens with a lens on issues such as police brutality and discrimination.
The Bronx resident, who has nearly 30,000 followers on Instagram at the time of publication, reportedly attends Baptist service regularly and is a smoker of cigars. He often wears and bulletproof vest and drives a rotation of rented vehicles for security and safety purposes. Meanwhile, he is notably opposed to Covid-19 vaccine mandates, claiming they are "racist and disrespectful."
Mayor-elect Adams told his constituents at Borough Hall that as the city's second Black mayor, he was well equipped to bring significant socio-economic and educational change to the Black community. “There’s one thing that we do agree on, that we need to change conditions that people are living in, historical conditions. And the conditions have not changed,” Adams said at the event, which was live-streamed on Instagram. “What I know for sure, is there is no one in this city that’s going to deal with this issue as the mayor of this city better than I’m going to.”
Adams appeared to grow agitated with Chivona Newsome -- Hawk's sister -- at one point during the event after she said politicians only “shuck, jive and use rap quotes” and don’t bring meaningful changes for people of color. “You need to be corrected,” Adams interjected. “You need to be corrected based on what you’re saying. Don’t tell me, ‘I need to do this’ … say, ‘We need to do this.’ I put my body on the line for my community. So I’m not here for folks to come and say, ‘I’m going to hold you accountable.’ No, it’s us,” he added.
That said, the meeting was the first time Newsome met with an incoming or sitting mayor, after having refused invitations from the previous administration under Mayor Bill de Blasio, whom he called a "buffoon." Newsome took credit for Adams' election, saying he was able to "achieve power" through his movement. “At least with Eric Adams, we have a clean slate,” Newsome told The Post, adding he would work with the incoming Democrat leader on “anti-violence programs and food programs.”
However, the BLM leader bemoaned that Adams “didn’t offer a comment on police reform … he wouldn’t offer us anything concrete.” “We will be at his front door, we will be at Gracie Mansion, we will be in the streets, if he allows these police to abuse us,” Newsome said. “I am not threatening anyone. I am just saying that it’s a natural response to aggressive oppression, people will react.”
Meanwhile, Adams told The Post in a statement that there's “no reason we cannot have both safe streets and racial justice in our city." He added, "If Black lives truly matter, then we must address violence in our communities while we address bias in policing. Yelling and not listening gets us nowhere.”