Gov. Andrew Cuomo should prioritize shootings in New York City just as high as he prioritizes gun violence outside the city, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said steps away from the scene of a shooting on Monday.
"It's imperative that the governor step in," Adams said at the corner of Flatbush and Dekalb avenues near Downtown Brooklyn where 16-year-old Armani Hankins died from a gunshot wound to his head.
Adams told reporters handguns are the problem, "not AK-47s." In 2013, Cuomo received national attention for signing his Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, which reportedly registered more than 44,000 assault-style weapons as of June 2015.
"There are mass shootings taking place in the inner cities every day and [officials] are moving at the pace that this is not a significant problem," Adams said. "Gun violence is a local problem. The governor is not elected to address national problems."
Adams and City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo both called on the governor to match City Hall's $12.7 million investment into its gun violence reduction program. The state gave some $2 million last year.
A Cuomo spokeswoman pointed to a series of local anti-violence programming that receive about $23.2 million in state funding, including a $350,000 contract for the Man-Up Brooklyn, a local group that Adams celebrated at the press event.
"The governor intends to continue supporting programs that will effectively address violence in our communities," said Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever.
Metro New York reported Tuesday that the city has seen some success with its grassroots approach in most of the 17 participating police precincts.
Cumbo said promises made by the de Blasio administration in 2014 when it announced its commitment that multiple agencies would collaborate have been slow to come together.
"The city has had those meetings," Cumbo said. "Certain agencies may have work that they are doing, it's not happening in an interconnected way. There are pockets of things happening that are not part of a concerted effort."
Eric Cumberbatch, director for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice's anti-gun violence initiatives said in a statement to Metro that their work "spans numerous agencies."
"Interagency cohesion makes it possible for services to be coordinated and responsive to need," Cumberbatch said, "and we are currently providing job training, employment opportunities, arts, mental health and legal services to increase the likelihood of long-term violence reduction in our 17 target precincts."
The administration also said it has held monthly meetings with city agencies since the announcement last year.
Adams agreed: "The problem here is I don't believe there are some in city government who believe this is a crisis because of the community being impacted. Well you know what — now that community isn't Brownsville. It's downtown."
Cumbo's district, which shares boundaries with the 88th Precinct — the scene of Monday's violence — has seen a number of shootings in recent weeks. It is not one of the 17 districts participating in the city's program, but Cumbo told reporters she would seek to include it in the next budget process.
Three men were killed in a shooting in late September. Cops were caught in a shootout in early October near Fort Greene Park. Days later a man died after he was shot in Downtown Brooklyn and tried to drive himself to a nearby hospital.