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New York . Mayor Eric Adams Appears On CBS 2’s “CBS 2 News At 5 Pm”

Jessica Moore: Now to a CBS 2 exclusive. Under attack by a federal monitor over the running of Rikers Island, Mayor Adams and his Corrections commissioner offer a stunning and unusual defense. They invited CBS 2 political reporter Marcia Kramer to see the actual videos in question in the monitor’s report.

Mayor Eric Adams: What we inherited in 2022 was a mess, and we’re turning that mess around.

Marcia Kramer: Mayor Adams mounting an unusual defense of his administration’s handling of Rikers, inviting me to review 90 minutes of security camera footage from inside the troubled jail.

Commissioner Louis Molina: He runs down the hallway in an attempt to escape.

Kramer: The private screening, which I was allowed to take notes on, but not record, follows a scathing critique from the federal monitor. The report finding fought with the Department of Correction and Commissioner Louis Molina for five serious and disturbing instances in which detainees were injured or had fallen ill over a two-week period. Molina contends the monitor’s findings about safety and transparency at the jail are off base.

Why have you decided to call us here today and to show us these lengthy videos of the same instances and incidents that were in this report?

Commissioner Molina: We wanted to show that we have nothing to hide. We think that these incidents not only portrayed the level of restrain and empathy that we have moved this department to under this administration, we think they also show a level of environmental improvement and cleanliness of our facilities.

Kramer: Mayor Adams named Molina to head their DOC at the start of his term in 2022, following one of the worst crises of the jail in decades. 16 people died at Rikers the year before during the de Blasio administration. Since he took office, the Commissioner has reduced the use of force incidents by 14 percent according to the DOC, and he has cut officer absentee rates from a high of about 2,600 per day at the height of the pandemic to 71 as of June 7th. The mayor hasn’t held back on criticizing the federal monitor’s report and continues to support Molina.

Mayor Adams: I looked at the tapes and I said, there has to be more, because clearly those tapes do not indicate dangerous conditions and unsafe practices. It actually showed just the opposite.

Kramer: The monitor’s report touched up a frenzy and calls for action at Rikers.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams: This administration did not create the longstanding issues on Rikers Island. But despite efforts that they’ve undertaking, there still seems to be some longstanding patterns of harm for everybody on Rikers Island, which has not been cured yet.

Kramer: Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Comptroller Brad Lander are calling for the jail system to be put in receivership. A move the mayor says is unfair because of the strides Molina has made.

Mayor Adams: The numbers are showing how we are moving in the right direction. We had previous administrations that were doing just the opposite.

Kramer: The city is expected in court as early as tomorrow to argue that it should be allowed to continue running Rikers. I’m Marcia Kramer, CBS 2 News.

Source: New York City Mayor office news https://www.nyc.gov

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