Adams, Wiley and Stringer clash over policing and stop and frisk.

The first main clash of the talk got here early, after the candidates have been requested to debate their views on the way to fight a rise in violent crime and the police finances.

For weeks, Maya Wiley — who oversaw the town’s police watchdog, the Civilian Complaint Review Board — and Eric Adams, a former police officer and the Brooklyn borough president, have sparred over Mr. Adams’s views on stop and frisk, a controversial policing technique that disproportionately ensnared Black and Latino males.

But it was Scott Stringer, the town comptroller, who lobbed the primary assault over policing, accusing Ms. Wiley of being ineffective at curbing police misconduct in her at time on the overview board and likening Mr. Adams’s method to policing to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s aggressive policing ways.

“When Maya Wiley was there she was a rubber stamp for the P.B.A.,” Mr. Stringer stated, referring to the Police Benevolent Association, a police union that represents tens of 1000’s of New York City law enforcement officials.

Ms. Wiley didn’t instantly handle Mr. Stringer’s feedback; she defended her work on the board however stated that she had a plan to make it more practical. Mr. Adams accused Mr. Stringer of revisionist historical past, saying that he consistently fought in opposition to stop and frisk in his time on the drive.

“This is an Anthony Fauci moment,” Mr. Adams scoffed in disbelief, referring to the nation’s high infectious illness professional. “Imagine someone 20 years from now, someone would say ‘hey, Anthony, you did nothing for Covid.’ That’s how I feel right now.”

Mr. Adams has obtained criticism over his previous help for stop and frisk all through his marketing campaign. He stated that it’s a great tool, however that it must be utilized in a restricted manner and that it was abused in the course of the mayoral administrations of Mr. Giuliani and Michael R. Bloomberg.

Still, stop and frisk is a divisive difficulty amongst Democrats. Just hours earlier than the talk on Wednesday, Ms. Wiley posted a video on Twitter of Mr. Adams talking about stop and frisk and linking him to right-wing politicians and figures.

“Use it; use it often — great tool,” Mr. Adams stated in an interview with CBS final 12 months. “We should never remove stop and frisk.”

But Mr. Adams’s views are extra complicated. He stated in an interview with The New York Times this 12 months that it was acceptable for an officer to stop somebody and to pat them down, so long as the officer believed that the individual had a weapon. But he stated the instrument was used too broadly prior to now.

“We stopped people on a quota system, and we were stopping innocent Black and brown people,” Mr. Adams stated.

“We were stopping any and everyone based on the communities they lived in and based on their ethnicities,” he added. “That was wrong. That abused a tool that was legal, and we should never do that in this city again.”