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NYC Mayor's Commencement Speech to Law Grads Did Not Go Very Well

AP Photo/Brittainy Newman

New York City Mayor Eric Adams received an icy reception during his commencement speech at the City University of New York School of Law on Friday. 

Not only was he booed upon being introduced, a number of graduates then turned their backs on him as he began his address, while others heckled him and some raised a middle finger.


“Let’s be clear, for 22 years of my life, I wore a bulletproof vest and protected the children and families of this city as a police officer,” Adams said to boos. 

“Just as you see these graduates here, I know what it is to protest,” he continued. “But I'm not the mayor because I know how to protest. I'm the mayor because I know how to speak on behalf of the countless number of people in this city.”

He went on to say he knows “what it is like to hold the city together,” though many in the crowd loudly disagreed. 

The speech comes after Adams has faced backlash from the left over his response to the death of Jordan Neely on the subway by a former Marine. The mayor has urged the public to wait for an investigation's findings before jumping to conclusions about the case, but AOC called that response a "new low." Many others on the left have also taken issue with his response.  

But as The New York Times notes, that's not all residents are upset with him about. Upstate officials are angry with him for sending migrants north, while his decision to suspend some parts of the city's guarantee to shelter those who need it amid the surge of migrants coming from the border has also been controversial. 


The commencement protest against Mr. Adams should not have come as much of a surprise; CUNY School of Law is known as a pipeline for public defenders and tenants rights and labor lawyers.

“CUNY Law school is where the folks who have this ideal of getting a degree to change the inequities in the world go to train how to do it,” said Catalina Cruz, a state assemblywoman from Queens who got her law degree from the school in 2009. (NYT)


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