Mayor Adams vowed Monday to hunt down the three gun-toting suspects who robbed a preacher friend of his in the middle of a live-streamed church sermon in Brooklyn over the weekend.
“No one in this city should be the victim of armed robbery, let alone our faith leaders and congregants worshiping in a House of God,” Adams told the Daily News, adding that he spoke with his pal, Bishop Lamor Whitehead, on the phone shortly after the Sunday robbery. “The NYPD is investigating this crime and will work tirelessly to bring the criminals involved to justice.”
Whitehead, a longtime Adams pal who landed in the headlines this spring after helping broker the surrender of a murder suspect, was in the middle of delivering a sermon at his Canarsie, Brooklyn church Sunday morning when the three robbers stormed in.
The masked robbers were caught on the church’s live-stream pointing their guns at Whitehead and other congregants before snatching $400,000 worth of jewelry off of the bishop and his wife, according to police.
Whitehead, who himself has a checkered past and served five years in prison for a $2 million identity theft scam, could not be immediately reached for comment Monday.
In a lengthy video message posted to his Instagram profile late Sunday, Whitehead claimed he may know the identity of the robbers.
“We know more than y’all think we know,” he said in the video.
He also claimed he followed the robbers out of the church after the stickup. “That’s why we know what car you’re in and that’s why we already know what you look like,” he said.
According to a source close to Adams, the mayor first befriended Whitehead in the 1990s as part of his work with 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care, a police reform advocacy group he co-founded while in the NYPD.
“They go way back,” the source said of Adams and Whitehead.
In May, Whitehead raised some eyebrows as he showed up in a Rolls Royce, donning a large gold chain and a Fendi suit, to hand over murder suspect Andrew Abdullah to the police a day after Abdullah allegedly shot a man to death on the subway.
In his Sunday video message, Whitehead lamented that he got “so much bad press” for his role in Abdullah’s surrender and questioned why anyone would criticize him for his fashion choices.
“It’s not about me being flashy,” he said. “It’s about me purchasing what I want to purchase. It’s my prerogative to purchase what I want to purchase.”