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Cardi B attended a “Girl’s Talk” session at the NYPD police academy, leaders dodge questions


Michael Gartland
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams refused to explain on Friday why NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell wasn’t looped into the controversial decision to invite Cardi B to a police event — and instead praised the NYPD’s former Chief of Training Juanita Holmes for making the move.

The decision to include “Bodak Yellow” rapper Cardi B at a Feb. 24 “Girl’s Talk” session at the police academy sparked a backlash earlier this week when a former city cop who was sacked for associating with Trump adviser Roger Stone accused the NYPD of violating patrol guide procedure by appearing with the ex-con hip hop star.

Two days after the Daily News first reported that story, Adams announced that the woman responsible for the decision, Holmes, would be leaving the NYPD to become commissioner of the city’s Department of Probation.

“Cardi B was a continuation of what this commissioner has done. This is her style,” Adams said when asked why Sewell, who outranked Holmes in the NYPD, wasn’t involved in Holmes’ decision. “When she was a chief, and now as commissioner, she respects the chain of command. So I don’t have any worries because no one is being rewarded that’s broke the chain of command.”

Adams deflected questions about the situation by joking that he wasn’t given a heads up about the Cardi B confab and justified Holmes’ decision to invite the rapper by citing a chapter from his own personal story.

“The only disappointing aspect of you having Cardi B was that I wasn’t invited,” Adams said to Holmes during a Friday City Hall press briefing. “The same reason you brought Cardi B is why people voted for me — because I was arrested. You don’t discard people.”

Adams also declined to directly address why Holmes’ decision to eliminate a requirement that recruits in the police academy be able to complete a 1 1/2 mile run in 14 minutes and 21 seconds outweighed Sewell’s thinking on the change. Sewell rejected the idea because she felt it lowered standards, but Holmes believed by loosening the physical fitness requirement, more female recruits would make it through the academy — an opinion that she conveyed to Mayor Adams through her connections at City Hall and one that the mayor ultimately sided with.

Despite Holmes winning that battle, the static between she and Sewell led to the decision to remove Holmes from the NYPD and place her atop the Probation Department, according to police sources. Holmes will replace Michael Forte, who served as acting head of that agency.

Forte appeared alongside Holmes, Adams and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Phil Banks at a formal announcement of Holmes new job at City Hall on Friday, but unlike the three higher ranking officials, Forte didn’t utter a word at the press briefing.

After the briefing, Fabien Levy said the decision to move Holmes was made this week, but he would not specify the exact day.


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