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NYC Mayor booed during commencement address

 May 15, 2023

New York City Mayor Eric Adams faced waves of disapproval from graduating students during the commencement ceremony at the City University of New York School of Law.

As the mayor stepped up to deliver the 2023 commencement address, many of the students turned their backs and voiced their objections.

The scene was a testament to the rising tension between the mayor's office and the student body over proposed budget cuts to the university and the mayor's reaction to Jordan Neely's death.

The ceremony was held at Queens College's Colden Auditorium on a Friday. As Adams began his speech, the students started their protest, interrupting him with yells and boos, as Daily Wire reported.

"For 22 years of my life, I wore a bulletproof vest and protected the children and families of this city as a police officer. So I know what it is. I know what it takes to hold this city together," Adams declared during his address.

He acknowledged the city's many challenges and the necessity of discipline in overcoming them.

Adams' Address Met with Mixed Reactions

Despite the dissent from some students, other crowd members supported the mayor, clapping and cheering at various points during his speech.

"These are exciting times, and we know we can move this city forward as we did with the issues around immigration, public safety, and how we build a better city for all," Adams said. Even as he spoke these words, the students' vocal protests persisted, Fox News reported.

The event followed the recent news that CUNY might face a significant funding cut from the city, with estimates of around $150 million, as revealed by Comptroller Brad Lander.

Lander warned that such cuts could severely impact the university's ability to serve its students.

Previous Controversies Surrounding Mayor Adams

This isn't the first instance of Adams, a former police officer, facing criticism in an academic setting. Last year, students at Pace University attempted unsuccessfully to ban him from giving a speech at their institution.

During the recent CUNY ceremony, one student shouted "Jordan," likely referencing Jordan Neely, a man who died after being placed in a chokehold on a subway train.

Neely's death has been a subject of controversy, with Adams cautioning against hastily labelling the incident as murder.

Adams emphasized the need for a thorough investigation before jumping to conclusions. "I don’t think that’s very responsible at the time when we are still investigating the situation. Let’s let the DA conduct his investigation with the law enforcement officials. To really interfere with that is not the right thing to do, and I’m going to be responsible and allow them to do their job and allow them to determine exactly what happened here," he said.

Continued Tensions Between Mayor's Office and the Students

The protests during Adams' speech underscore the growing tension between the mayor's office and the student body at CUNY Law School.

The proposed budget cuts and the mayor's handling of controversial issues, such as the death of Jordan Neely, seem to have widened the rift between these two entities.

Many of the students appeared to use the commencement ceremony as a platform to express their dissatisfaction with the mayor's leadership. This show of dissent may indicate larger societal issues and Mayor Adams' challenges in aligning with the public's expectations.