NYC Mayor Eric Adams renews calls for Albany to address recidivism after hero cop, innocent straphanger both killed in same night

Mayor Eric Adams
Mayor Eric Adams

Mayor Eric Adams renewed calls Tuesday for Albany to take aim at rampant recidivism in the wake of two horrific acts of violence that left an NYPD officer and an innocent subway rider dead.

The Adams administration held up the state’s revolving-door criminal justice system as one of the main unaddressed issues — along with mental health — driving the spate of crime and random violent incidents in the Big Apple.

“What’s interesting is that our practices, laws and policies are not going after these issues,” Hizzoner said during a sober conference from City Hall.

Adams highlighted Monday night’s bloodshed as a clear example of those problems coming to a head — with the shooting of 31-year-old cop Jonathan Diller allegedly by a career criminal in Queens and an unhinged man accused of shoving a 54-year-old man to his death at an East Harlem subway station.

Mayor Eric Adams renewed his call for changes to state law Tuesday. Stephen Yang
Mayor Eric Adams renewed his call for changes to state law Tuesday. Stephen Yang

“We’ve always had a problem with recidivism, it’s always been a problem but we’ve really never zeroed in on it with case after case,” Adams told reporters.

The state needs a “real analysis to what is feeding recidivism,” he said, noting, “It’s not a one-item problem.”

Adams’ administration has long lobbied the Legislature — unsuccessfully — to make reforms to discovery laws, which critics argue often leads overworked prosecutors to be forced to move to drop cases.

City Hall has also been calling for an amendment to Kendra’s Law — which can provide court-ordered treatment for those with mental health issues — to allow for more hospitalization of the mentally ill.

Renewing his plea for change, Adams called the current laws “out of alignment.”

NYPD officer Jonathan Diller was fatally shot Monday night, allegedly by a career criminal. Kevin C. Downs for NY Post
NYPD officer Jonathan Diller was fatally shot Monday night, allegedly by a career criminal. Kevin C. Downs for NY Post

In Albany, there’s been little movement for change on such issues as lawmakers work to hammer out a budget deal ahead of the looming April 1 deadline.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has pushed to increase penalties for criminals who repeatedly assault retail workers, but Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie swatted down that idea on Tuesday.

“A 31-year-old NYPD officer lost his life, his wife lost her husband, and their newborn child, less than a year old, lost their father. All because the legislature refuses and continues to refuse to react and act by changing these laws to keep criminals in prison,” Assemblyman Michael Durso (R-Nassau) said.

“It’s enough. New York needs to wake up,” added Durso, who represents the district where Diller lived with his wife and 1-year-old son.

Just over an hour after the fatal police shooting, an unhinged man is accused of pushing a straphanger to his death. William Farrington
Just over an hour after the fatal police shooting, an unhinged man is accused of pushing a straphanger to his death. William Farrington

“The blood is on the legislature’s hands.”

City Councilwoman Diana Ayala (D-East Harlem/The Bronx) echoed some of the mayor’s sentiments, but also called for a hearing to make sure the Big Apple is being as aggressive as it can be with the laws already on the books when it comes to helping those suffering from mental health issues.

“This is a combination of a lot of systems that are failing simultaneously,” said Ayala, chairperson of the council’s Committee on General Welfare, which oversees the Department of Homeless Services, and former head of the mental health committee.

“This is something that I had trouble getting people to the table about when I was the chair of the mental health committee,” added Ayala, who represents the area where the fatal subway shoving took place. “Everyone thinks we have laws and we’ve taken care of it – and have we?”

Additional reporting by Vaughn Golden