Crime and Safety

NYC mayor suggests not wearing headphones in subway for safety but blames media for ‘perception of fear’

New York City Mayor Eric Adams suggested Friday that subway riders not wear headphones and put their phones away to help them be “aware of what’s around them.”

Adams was responding to Fox 5 host Bianca Peters, who said she hasn’t worn her AirPods “in over a year” because she felt the need to stay aware of her surroundings.

“That’s a quality of life issue,” Peters said.

The mayor responded, “I think that you are right about you know not having your iPods and not focusing on phone. And I say yes to that, I do the same and we put out a video and information telling people about being aware of what’s around them and what’s taking place. I encourage New Yorkers to do that.”

Adams had caught heat from New York subway riders the day before for reportedly claiming the media was creating a “perception of fear” with its focus on subway crimes.

“We have an average of less than six crimes a day on a subway system with 3.5 million riders,” Adams told CNN anchor Chris Wallace for an interview set to air on HBO Friday.

“But if you write your story based on a narrative, then you’re going to look at the worst of those six crimes and put it on the front pages of your paper every day.”

Violent subway crime was up 39% in August compared to 2019. The city has its ninth subway homicide on Monday after a man was shoved onto the tracks on Monday.

Straphangers interviewed by the New York Post called Adams’ comments disappointing and out of touch.

“That’s just a statistic, that’s not taking into account the unreported crimes,” said Sabryna Davis, who takes the subway to work as a health aide in Queens. “That’s not taking into account the warning signs — the threats, the crazy looks in people’s eyes.”

“The subway is full of ticking time bombs, and just because six go off today, it doesn’t mean 12 aren’t going off tomorrow,” she added.

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