Mayor Eric Adams said he plans to remake a controversial 2011 video he shot as a state senator in which he showed parents how to search their home and children’s belongings for “tell-tale” signs of criminal behavior.
Adams, a former NYPD captain, announced his intentions during an unrelated press conference at City Hall on Monday when a reporter asked what he thought everyday New Yorkers could do to combat the rise in gun violence.
“Many family members don't realize what the children are doing every day and no one has educated them,” Adams said.“No one is empowering parents who are seeing their children every day participate in illegal behavior.”
He added, “Unfortunately, you know, I was ridiculed.”
The news of the renewed campaign came as the mayor ordered a tougher crackdown on crime.
Adams has been facing scrutiny on his performance as he approaches his first 100 days in office. The latest NYPD statistics showed that major crimes are up nearly 45% compared to last year. Shootings stood at 279 so far this year, compared to 238 the same time a year ago, a 17.2% increase.
Among the latest shootings was that of a 12-year-old boy named Kade Lewin, who was shot in Brooklyn on Thursday while he was eating in his family’s parked car. Adams met with the family of the slain boy on Monday morning to condemn the violence and asked anyone with information on the assailant to come forward.
In the original, near two-minute video, Adams walks parents through a mock-process of searching their child’s room for guns and drugs. As strains of morose violin music play in the background, Adams pulls a gun from a jewelry box, a crack pipe from the zippered pocket of a school knapsack, and shows how a stash of marijuana (which was illegal then) can be hidden inside the clothes of a doll.
“Where there’s smoke there’s possible fire,” he says.
In one of the more infamous lines of the video, Adams says, “You write the constitution. There are no First Amendment rights inside your household."
The video garnered national attention when it was first released, sparking criticism from some who saw Adams’ advice as overreaching and counterproductive to building trust between parents and their children.
The video resurfaced last year during the mayoral primary campaign. Vice interviewed Matthew Kulvicki, the director of production for the state Senate, who shot the video for Adams. In the interview, Kulvicki said Adams exerted full creative control over the project and that he was shocked by how the video transpired.
“He knew exactly what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it,” Kulvicki told VICE.
Paperboy Prince, a rapper who was also a mayoral candidate, made his own parody of the video, called “Eric Adams Please Get Out of Room.”
Adams did not say when he planned to release the updated video.