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Sunny Hostin Grills Eric Adams: You Can't 'Have It Both Ways' on Police Reform

The NYC mayoral frontrunner learned the hard way that you don't mess with The View's Sunny Hostin.
  • Sunny Hostin took no prisoners during Eric Adams' brief appearance on The View. (Photos: ABC)
    Sunny Hostin took no prisoners during Eric Adams' brief appearance on The View. (Photos: ABC)

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    Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee for New York City mayor, found himself on the receiving end of Sunny Hostin's criticism Tuesday morning during an appearance on The View. Hostin pulled no punches as she grilled Adams about his shifting stance on police reform and his public support for the city's "plainclothes anti-crime squad," which was responsible for the murder of Eric Garner. "I don't think that you can have it both ways," said the co-host. "How do you intend to make the NYPD less abusive, but more effective?"

    The View's co-hosts were only able to get in one question each during Adams' brief appearance, but Hostin made the most of her time with the New York City mayoral candidate. "I'm from the Bronx, and I follow a lot of these stories that come out of the Bronx in terms of police violence, as well as the increased crime rate," said the left-leaning host. "I understand that you, yourself, have been a vocal critic of police violence and you mentioned earlier today that you were beaten by cops as a teen."

    "But, according to the New York Times," she continued, "You explicitly called for more police to police the subways and you back re-instituting a reformed, plainclothes anti-crime squad. That squad was responsible for the death of Eric Garner." Hostin then repeated a quote from earlier in the interview, in which Adams said that "the pre-requisite to prosperity is safety and justice," before accusing him of flip-flopping on the issue.

    "I love that, because I strongly disagree with you," replied Adams. "You can have it both ways."

    Adams said that "we believe we need to have public safety or justice," but "we can have both" simultaneously. "I'm going to send a clear, loud message to my police officers: I have your backs, but you have the backs of the people in this city that you swore to protect," he said. "Let's set the right terms and right conditions in our police agencies. It can't take four years to get rid of an abusive police officer."

    "Dealing with police misconduct is a separate conversation from dealing with the violence in our streets," concluded Adams. "When people state that in order to make our city safe, we have to have heavy-handed policing that is wrong."

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    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Sunny Hostin, The View