The Rev. Al Sharpton used his annual Thanksgiving address Thursday to boost Mayor Adams’ public safety agenda — and blast its critics as “latte liberals.”
Speaking at his National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, Sharpton lauded Adams for centering his mayoralty on combating crime as well as police misconduct in the NYPD.
“We want our community safe from both the cops and the robbers that are bad, and we are going to stand with the mayor on that,” Sharpton said during his group’s Thanksgiving lunch as Adams stood next to him on stage.
Sharpton made the case that the mayor’s two-tiered focus is a matter of “civil rights.”
“We’re going to fight together against crime in the city and against those police that are being excessive. It’s not one or the other. People are hurting people in our community, robbing people, they are a civil rights violation, as much as police,” he said.
Referring to left-wing Democrats skeptical of some of Adams’ crime-fighting policies, Sharpton said:
“You know what I call them, these people that get all of these expensive drinks — latte liberals. They don’t speak for us. People on the ground need to be protected in both ways, and there’s nothing progressive about looking the other way.”
Also on stage with Sharpton for the Thanksgiving address were Comptroller Brad Lander and Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, both of whom have increasingly clashed with the mayor in recent months over public safety and other issues.
Speaker Adams, who isn’t related to the mayor, earlier this week slammed his latest round of budget cuts at city agencies as “perplexing” — and voiced concern, in particular, about his decision to largely exempt the NYPD from the belt-tightening initiative.
“I’m of the opinion that all agencies are created equal,” the speaker told the Daily News on Tuesday, “so in my estimation, all agencies should be laid out, taken a look at, and acted on accordingly.”
In her own remarks at Sharpton’s holiday luncheon, Speaker Adams avoided hot-button topics and said she was “grateful” to share a stage with the mayor. Lander kept it similarly cordial, saying it was “so good” to join the mayor and the speaker for the event.
The mayor, who started off his Thanksgiving at a breakfast for families of first responders killed or injured in the line of duty, said at National Action Network headquarters that he planned to visit Rikers Island later in the day to share a meal with an inmate who recently gave birth behind bars.
“I’m going to sit down and have a meal with her, as she’s incarcerated right now. And I’m going to talk to those correction officers and those who are inside,” he said.
He continued: “The real message today to those young people who are incarcerated is: ‘Where you are is not who you are.’ When we go to the homeless shelters today, we are saying to them: ‘Where you are is not who you are.’ When we visit people who are in some terrible places, we want people to know that: ‘Where you are is not who you are.’”
After their remarks, Sharpton and the elected officials served Thanksgiving meals to local residents.
The mayor did not take questions during the event — and Sharpton gleefully warned reporters that they could not partake in the holiday feast if they tried to get a question in.
“The press always got some nasty question for the mayor,” he said. “Anybody got a nasty question for him — you can ask him, but don’t eat my food after that.”