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Keechant Sewell stepped down as commissioner of the New York Police Department, less than two years after being appointed by Mayor Eric Adams.

On Monday evening (June 12th), Sewell announced her resignation in an email to the department. “While my time here will come to a close, I will never step away from my advocacy and support for the NYPD, and I will always be a champion for the people of New York City,” she wrote. Sewell became the first woman to head up the country’s largest police department in January 2021, being appointed by Mayor Adams over other notable candidates including Philadelphia’s current commissioner, Danielle Outlaw after serving as Chief of Detectives in Nassau County.

The abrupt resignation comes as recent reporting from the New York Post alleges that Sewell and Mayor Adams had been at odds. Sources within the department claimed that the mayor’s office subjected Sewell to micromanagement of the department, with personnel decisions such as transfers and promoting detectives now left to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Phil Banks acting “like a shadow commissioner” leaving Sewell frustrated. Banks refused to comment on her departure, according to reports.

Another sticking point came with regard to NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey. The Civilian Complaint Review Board found that the highest uniformed officer in the department had abused his authority in an incident involving a former officer allegedly chasing three boys with a gun. While Sewell recommended that Maddrey be punished by taking away vacation days, Mayor Adams (a former officer) publicly backed Maddrey’s action.

Sewell’s impact on the department was noted by many, including Patrick Lynch of the Police Benevolent Association. “She cared about the cops on the street and was always open to working with us to improve their lives and working conditions,” he said in a statement. The union named her their Person of the Year in 2022, making her the first sitting commissioner to get that honor. In a brief statement issued online, Mayor Adams thanked Sewell, writing: “Her efforts played a leading role in this administration’s tireless work to make New York City safer.” Sewell’s statement noticeably did not mention the mayor, hinting at the growing turbulence behind the scenes that had grown during her tenure. 

Op Watch: NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell Surprisingly Resigns Post  was originally published on hiphopwired.com