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FORMER POLICE officer Eric Adams has been elected as the next mayor of New York.

Democrat Adams, who was the favourite to win the mayoral race,  comfortably beat his Republican opponent Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels civilian patrol.

Following his election victory Adams becomes only the second African American to serve as mayor of New York. The late David Dinkins held the post from 1990 to 1993.

Public safety

During his campaign Adams  promised to boost public safety and give a voice to working-class residents. However he also focused on the challenge of overseeing New York’s recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic, tackling wealth inequality, poor schools and a lack of affordable housing.

His background as a former officer with the New York City Transit Police and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for 22 years struck a chord with voters. Despite being fiercely critical of the city’s police department in the past he has stopped short of demands made by some protestors to defund the police.

Last year the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police officers sparked months of angry demonstrations in the US. However recent rising crime rates have prompted several mayoral candidates across the country to call for greater police funding rather than less in response to voter concerns about public safety.

Throughout the election Adams has sought to balance demands to crack down on crime with a promise to reform the police department which include plans to make its senior ranks more diverse.

Police brutality

While a serving officer with the NYPD he co-founded the advocacy group 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, which spoke out against police brutality. Adams has also spoken of his own teenage experience of being beaten by police officers while in custody, an experience that sparked his desire to become a police officer.

The 61-year-old will take over from incumbent Bill de Blasio, who has served eight years in office, in January.  

In a tweet following his poll victory Adams said: ” It’s official — our five-borough, knock-every-door, reach-every-voter campaign was successful: We have won the race for Mayor of New York City! This is my dream come true, and I couldn’t be more proud to represent the City that we all love as your Mayor-elect.”

This content was originally published here.

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