Mayor Eric Adams has appointed an official to fill a volunteering position to oversee gun violence in New York City. This was disclosed at an event outside City Hall in response to gun violence plaguing the city.
Adams has named his friend of 30 years, Andre T. Mitchell, who is the founder of Man Up, for the volunteer job. Man Up is a Brooklyn-based organization that deploys outreach workers to troubled neighborhoods to attempt to prevent violence before it happens.
Mitchell will co-chair a new task force with Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright.
The group Man Up includes former convicts and gang members who have turned their lives around. They intervene in street disputes before violence breaks out. The organization has received millions of dollars in public funding from the city.
In 2019, the city’s Department of Investigation criticized the organization after discovering Mitchell had numerous family members on the payroll.
On Thursday, Mitchell told reporters that the group complied with the DOI inquiry and listened to the agency’s recommendations. He said the group wasn’t accused of any criminality.
Adams defended his choice.
“We’re not looking for a nun,” the mayor said. “We’re looking for someone that’s not afraid to be in the street and embrace our people.”