Mayor-elect Eric Adams condemned an angry mob that wreaked havoc on a sleepy middle-class Queens community as they protested Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal.
“It’s one thing to protest at any elected official’s office … but to come to a neighborhood and openly destroy property, be disruptive and throw objects at the residents of the neighborhood — that is unacceptable in our city,” fumed Adams during a Saturday news conference in Middle Village.
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He was joined by Councilman Robert Holden, who represents the neighborhood, and other pols in condemning Friday night’s incident in Middle Village, where about 40 mostly masked rabble rousers terrorized the neighborhood by destroying cars, American flags and attacking a cop.
Five were arrested and charged with rioting, including Kyrk Freeman, 22, Daniel Wattley, 28; Alex Davis, 33; Charles Edmonds, 37; and Jonathan Lefkowitz, 38 who was also allegedly caught with the hatchet and hammer and faces an additional charge of criminal possession of a weapon.
Adams, according to Holden, called to arrange the news conference, offering a glimpse into how different his administration could be compared to City Hall under Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Holden, a moderate Democrat, is routinely at odds with the far-left-leaning de Blasio and one of his toughest critics. The councilman accused him Friday of adding “gasoline to the fire” by tweeting “We can’t let this go” in response to the Rittenhouse acquittal — even as the NYPD was on alert for potential protests.
“This guy has turned his back on white, middle class neighborhoods throughout the city,” Holden later told The Post. “To have Eric Adams come out here before he’s even in office and show he has our backs is very refreshing.”
However, the mayor-elect refused to say whether he actually believed de Blasio incited any riots.
“I believe the real crisis is that a 17-year-old was legally able to carry a gun…” said Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a retired NYPD captain. “This is not about Mayor de Blasio. This is about the future of our city, and that is my primary focus.”
Earlier Saturday, Adams put out a joint statement with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and Comptroller-Elect Brad Lander demanding stronger gun laws nationwide.
“The Rittenhouse ruling should be the last horrifying piece of evidence we need to reverse dangerous gun laws in America and reject the culture of hate and bias that leads to violence,” the statement said. “Whether it’s in Southern Wisconsin or East New York, guns sold in one state are used to create death and mayhem on the streets of another every day.”
During the Middle Village melee, would-be protesters were trailed by cops as they made their way through the neighborhood, many decked out in all-black with their faces covered, in the style of “Black Bloc” anarchists known for covering their faces and wearing all black to destroy property, according to police sources.
They allegedly tossed garbage cans at cops, ripped American and “Blue Lives Matters” flags from homes, damaged mailboxes and cars, NYPD officials and sources said.
Sources said an officer saw Freeman point to a silver Chevrolet sedan, which Edmonds allegedly jumped on, shattering its front windshield.
As Edmonds was being taken into custody, Freeman jumped on the arresting officer’s back, police said, before resisting arrest himself.
Edmonds’ father, Bruce, 73, said his son is a Rutgers University grad and middle school teacher in Freehold, New Jersey, who has a history of going to protests, and is “a good guy, passionate.”
He wasn’t surprised his son was arrested, the dad said, asking, “Is he all right?”
A man told cops he had earlier witnessed Freeman spray paint “F-k You” on his white SUV, and cover the car’s pro-police “Thin Blue Line” sticker with black paint, sources said. The damages totaled over $4,000.
The 75-year-old military veteran who owns the car said he felt “both angry and sad” and that people in the country seem to have lost respect for each other.
“If you have a flag in a flower box they rip it down,” said the man, who asked that his name not be used. “They vandalize your car … we just lost all respect for each other.
“I don’t know, but some people in the area said they think this vandalism was directed towards Mr. Holden because his personal home is a few blocks away from here,” he said.
“So maybe it was a show of discontent against him, that was somebody’s guess.”
Freeman had a can of spray paint, police said. He and Edmonds have been charged with rioting, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, obstructing government administration, reckless endangerment of property, unlawful assembly and a traffic violation for walking in the street.
Freeman, who is also charged with graffiti in Friday’s incident, was arrested in September for allegedly vandalizing a pillar at the Myrtle Avenue subway stop, sources said.
Lefkowitz, 38, was arrested in possession of both a hatchet and hammer. He faces charges of rioting in the first degree, unlawful assembly, obstructing governmental administration, weapon possession and walking in the roadway.
Wattley, 28, and Davis, 31, were charged with rioting in the first degree, unlawful assembly, obstructing governmental administration and walking in the roadway.
All five alleged rioters were released pending future court dates, cops said.
Additional reporting by Kieran Ungemach and David Meyer