New York City Mayor Eric Adams has had his security tightened after disturbing videos emerged of a person of interest on the Brooklyn subway on Tuesday shooting him by name.
Police are looking for Frank James, 62, with ties to Wisconsin and Philadelphia, in connection with Tuesday’s rush hour attack in which at least 10 people were shot and 19 others injured.
Mr Adams’ office said it had increased its level of protection “out of an abundance of caution” until Mr James was found. Police said they found ‘related posts’ online that named Mr Adams, without saying whether they were written by Mr James.
However, a YouTube account called “prophet oftruth88”, whose videos matched a screenshot shared by police, had repeatedly posted videos addressing Mr Adams and sometimes expressing violent thoughts.
“These are the people who were supposed to help me,” Mr James said, showing pictures on a projection screen behind him, in a video seen by The Independent. “They made me worse! They made me worse.
“They made me more dangerous than I could ever have been, than anything anyone could imagine. But these are the people Eric Adams wants to send to help the homeless and whatever either the case.”
Over the past two years, Mr. James has posted more than 250 videos on YouTube, swinging freely between personal anecdotes, political polemics, current affairs discussions or montages of news clips.
In a video, taken while driving a van through Indiana to Philadelphia, he said: “I’m going back into the danger zone, so to speak, and of course that triggers a lot of negative thoughts. Because that i have a bad, bad case of post-traumatic stress disorder, after the shit i’ve been through for these fucking years, man.
Another video showed him saying: “Lest I forget, I went through a lot of bullshit – where I could tell I wanted to kill people. I wanted to see people die right in front of my fucking face immediately. But I thought about the fact that, hey man, I don’t want to go to a fucking jail.
In many of the videos, Mr. James, who is black, seemed concerned and appalled about violent crime, especially crimes committed by black people. He repeatedly expressed his antipathy towards black people and blamed “ghetto culture” and “slave culture” for the violence.
“At the end of the day, it’s not our fault. At the end of the day, it’s the white man’s fault that we’re in this state,” he said in a video recorded at an Airbnb and uploaded March 30. “But simultaneously, the reason we stay where we are is our own fault.”
His videos often show him drinking while talking to his audience, and one shows a row of empty hard liquor bottles lined up in his Airbnb room.
According to The daily beast, video showed him telling Mr Adams that he had been through New York’s mental health system and undergone treatment that made people want to ‘go get a gun and shoot on motherfuckers”.
Mr James is quoted as saying: ‘I was in crisis, as a patient. I have a diagnosis that goes back to 1980, and I was in crisis… what happens in these places is violence. Not physical violence, but the same type of violence that resembles what a child may experience in elementary school.