Home News Adams defends NYPD brass who blasted journalists, City Council member on social...

Adams defends NYPD brass who blasted journalists, City Council member on social media

Mayor Adams said Tuesday that a group of top NYPD officials were having “a human reaction” when they launched sharp-edged social media sprees against two journalists and a City Council member over the weekend.

The social media salvos from Chief of Patrol John Chell, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey, Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry and Transit Chief Michael Kempner came in the wake of last week’s killing of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller.

Defending the online outbursts during a Tuesday afternoon briefing at City Hall, Adams said the “rawness” of the NYPD honchos’ posts can be explained by the “pain” they were enduring from Diller’s death. Diller’s wake was Thursday and Friday; his funeral was held Saturday.

“Sometimes I think folks forget that these are human beings,” Adams said. “What you saw from Chell and Daughtry, you saw a human reaction.”

Adams, a retired NYPD captain, also dismissed the notion that the police officials “attacked” people online.

“I don’t think they attacked anyone — they responded,” he said after initially telling reporters he wouldn’t offer any comment about the posts.

One of the most biting posts came from Chell, who oversees the NYPD’s day-to-day deployment of patrol cops.

Chief of Patrol John Chell (Theodore Parisienne for New York Daily News)
Chief of Patrol John Chell (Theodore Parisienne for New York Daily News)

The X post, thumbed out Friday evening by Chell, blasted Queens Councilwoman Tiffany Caban for responding approvingly to a video of Olayemi Olurin, a lawyer and media personality, criticizing Adams over his public safety agenda in a high-publicized interview on Power 105.1 last week.

“Pheeeww, under this Mayor crime is down while fighting ridiculous policies that your friends put in place and he inherited,” Chell tweeted at Caban from his official NYPD account. “Policies hurting everyday NYers in our city! Tick Tock…You know, as I travel through the city and spend time doing media just about everyday, the community always asks me what can we do to help? I always say to all NYers, ‘If you want change ,vote the change you seek.’”

By city law, local government officials cannot use municipal resources, including official social media handles, to “electioneer,” a term used to describe activity that’s political in nature.

In response to Chell’s post, Caban wrote on X Saturday: “Are you electioneering from your official account?”

Asked by the Daily News about the electioneering issue, Adams said he didn’t “think the chief was electioneering.”

Caban, a democratic socialist, pushed back.

“Chief Chell used his official account to repeatedly praise the mayor, who is a candidate for office, and concluded by urging everyone to vote. That is explicitly prohibited conduct by an NYPD official,” Caban told The News.

The city Conflicts of Interest Board, which enforces laws on electioneering and other ethics issues, declined to comment on whether Chell’s message might have engaged in electioneering, citing confidentiality rules.

The other two individuals who faced the NYPD officials’ wrath online over the weekend were Olurin and Daily News columnist Harry Siegel, senior editor at The City non-profit news organization.

A Siegel column published Saturday about public safety misstated the number of killings in the subway system so far this year, an error later corrected by The News.

Kempner, Daughtry, Chell and Maddrey all pushed out multiple X posts calling out Siegel by name over the error. A post from the NYPD’s main X account even derisively called Harry  “Deceitful” Siegel.

Maddrey, Daughtry and Chell also over the weekend posted and re-posted various messages ripping Olurin over her critical 105.1 interview with Adams. In one message, Chell challenged Olurin to come to Diller’s Saturday funeral so they could “talk.”

In his Tuesday briefing, Adams suggested the laments against Siegel and Olurin were justified.

“I believe in a free press, but the free press should be held accountable, too,” he said.

The spats with Caban and the others come on the heels of NYPD leaders in recent months stepping up their use of social media to criticize people.

Last month, Chell apologized after putting out an X message misidentifying a Manhattan judge he had railed against online for not setting bail in a criminal case.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here