When a homeless man was choked to demise on the New York Metropolis subway earlier this month by one other passenger, Mayor Eric Adams had an uncharacteristically guarded response. For greater than every week, he didn’t denounce the killing, as a lot of his Democratic colleagues instantly had, or specific a lot sympathy for the sufferer, Jordan Neely.

As a substitute, the mayor selected a extra indifferent view, noting that there have been “severe psychological points in play right here.”

“I used to be a former transit police officer, and I responded to many roles the place you had a passenger helping somebody,” he stated on CNN. “And so we can not simply blatantly say what a passenger ought to or shouldn’t do in a state of affairs like that.”

The mayor’s response was the newest instance of him tacking away from the town’s left, making a wedge with a few of his Democratic colleagues. Mr. Adams has been pushing extra average, generally even conservative, views on points like lease, faith and his signature theme, enhancing public security — a pointy flip from his Democratic predecessor, Invoice de Blasio, and from progressive leaders who’ve not too long ago received mayoral elections in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.

The most recent instance got here on Wednesday, when Mr. Adams issued an govt order briefly suspending among the guidelines associated to the town’s longstanding right-to-shelter mandate, as officers wrestle to search out housing for asylum seekers arriving from the southern border. The transfer was criticized by advocates for the homeless and Democratic officers like Adrienne Adams, the Metropolis Council speaker.

The mayor has spoken ruefully concerning the separation of church and state, supported constitution faculty enlargement and referred to as for lowering the movement of migrants in rhetoric that critics have referred to as xenophobic. He has additionally proposed price range cuts that would damage key providers similar to libraries, arguing that each one metropolis companies should be fiscally prudent at a time when the town’s price of the spiraling migrant disaster is anticipated to be properly over $1 billion — an element that was not in play for earlier mayors.

And final week, the mayoral-controlled Hire Pointers Board proposed one other yr of sizable will increase for the town’s roughly a million rent-stabilized residences — the very best back-to-back will increase since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was in workplace.

Left-leaning Democrats query whether or not Mr. Adams’s method — generally extra akin to Mr. Bloomberg and even the previous Republican mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani — is acceptable for New York, one of the crucial liberal cities within the nation. However the mayor says that his model of pragmatic politics is precisely what the town wants, and what his core constituency of working-class New Yorkers desires.

“It’s not comfy for folks after they can’t put you on this field,” Mr. Adams, the town’s second Black mayor, stated in an interview. “I stated from the time that I used to be working that individuals are not going to have the ability to match me in a field.”

He acknowledged that a few of his views are thought of conservative, however stated that others had been “extraordinarily liberal,” pointing to his assist without cost buses and tax credit for poor New Yorkers. Mr. Adams, who grew up within the Church of Christ, stated that many Democrats had been spiritual and that his supporters agreed together with his beliefs on religion and different points.

“The overwhelming variety of New Yorkers know that this man is attempting his darnedest to repair the issues on this metropolis and that’s what we’re targeted on,” he stated.

Mr. Adams emerged from a crowded area of Democratic contenders within the 2021 mayoral race as probably the most outstanding and well-funded average candidate, focusing nearly solely on a public security message at a time when New Yorkers had been anxious about crime. He received the first by a slim margin — solely 7,197 votes — below a brand new ranked-choice voting system the place Mr. Adams was spared a major runoff.

As mayor, Mr. Adams has principally lived as much as his marketing campaign guarantees. He has been a charismatic cheerleader for the town because it recovers from the pandemic, protecting a relentless schedule of stories conferences and group occasions. He has pushed for tighter bail restrictions, elevated the town’s police presence, delighted in killing rats and isn’t bashful about having fun with an evening in town.

Many Democrats in New York Metropolis are Black and Latino voters who could properly assist a lot of the mayor’s agenda, together with his emphasis on religion. Mr. Adams has maintained sturdy assist amongst Black voters at 52 %, at the same time as his general approval ranking fell to 37 %, in accordance with a Quinnipiac College ballot in February. Black voters had been additionally extra supportive of the mayor’s dealing with of crime and homelessness than white voters.

However some voters have been disillusioned by his new course for the town. Mr. Adams has eliminated homeless encampments, pledged to take away mentally in poor health folks from the streets involuntarily, defended using stop-and-frisk policing and resisted calls to shut the Rikers Island jail complicated by 2027. He was additionally endorsed by the town’s main police union, solely a yr after the group backed President Donald J. Trump’s re-election bid, and not too long ago supplied officers with beneficiant raises as a part of a brand new eight-year, $5.5 billion labor contract.

Within the Crown Heights and East New York neighborhoods of Brooklyn, response to Mr. Adams’s efficiency was blended. Older voters tended to assist the mayor, praising his effort, his power and his devotion to public security.

“He’s combating for the town, protecting the town cleaner, there’s loads of police throughout,” stated Garfield Miller, 65, a carpenter who lives in East New York, and stated he voted for Mr. Adams. Vibert David, 66, and his brother, Asworth David, 65, additionally voted for Mr. Adams, and stated they’d enthusiastically accomplish that once more.

“You bought to be seen,” Vibert David stated. “As an previous officer, he’s doing good.”

However others accused the mayor of attempting to unravel all the pieces with extra police, and stated he was not doing sufficient to ease the town’s issues with homelessness, psychological sickness and lack of inexpensive housing.

“He events at 3 a.m. when he’s imagined to be serving to the town,” stated Ineze Thompson, 25, a barista who lives in Washington Heights in Manhattan.

On Friday, Mr. Adams was confronted with extra direct blowback: When he started talking on the CUNY Faculty of Legislation commencement ceremony, many graduates turned their backs to him.

“When the mayor is reducing issues like libraries and faculties, it actually begs the query: Who’s the constituency who he feels accountable to, and what’s the legacy he desires to depart behind?” stated Sochie Nnaemeka, the director of the Working Households Occasion in New York.

The Working Households Occasion and different progressive Democrats have made nice strides in New York, profitable seats and pushing a left-leaning agenda on the Metropolis Council and within the State Legislature. Earlier this yr, progressive lawmakers had been even had been capable of nix Gov. Kathy Hochul’s nominee for the state’s prime choose, Justice Hector D. LaSalle, due to fears that he was too conservative. However they’ve additionally been annoyed on some key points as a result of the 2 most influential elected officers in New York, Ms. Hochul and Mr. Adams, usually don’t align with their views.

Mr. Adams, who was a registered Republican within the Nineteen Nineties, is pleasant with Republicans and the true property business, showing commonly on a conservative radio present. He chides “woke” members of his social gathering and not too long ago named Jimmy Oddo, a Republican, to move the Buildings Division, changing one other Republican who held the job.

The mayor has quarreled with left-leaning leaders, together with Consultant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, although they appeared to achieve a détente in March when Ms. Ocasio-Cortez visited Gracie Mansion for dinner. However after Mr. Neely’s demise, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez accused Mr. Adams of reaching a “new low” in his stoic response.

“Killing the mentally in poor health is unsuitable,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “Why is that so laborious to say?”

Some Democrats imagine that Mr. Adams will face a problem from the left in 2025, and their hopes had been buoyed by current mayoral victories by Karen Bass in Los Angeles and Brandon Johnson in Chicago, who had been each endorsed by the progressive Working Households Occasion. Operating towards a “robust on crime” candidate, Mr. Johnson received on a public security message that went past policing, specializing in youth employment and psychological well being providers.

“Eric Adams’s bluster and rhetorical type has caught lots of people’s consideration, however his coverage positions are deeply out of step with what most massive, blue-city voters need,” stated Anna Bahr, a Democratic political strategist who labored on the Bass and Johnson campaigns.

A few of Mr. Adams’s rhetoric could have frayed his relationship with President Biden. After the mayor harshly criticized the president’s dealing with of the migrant disaster, his identify was quietly eliminated this week from an preliminary record of nationwide surrogates for Mr. Biden’s re-election marketing campaign.

The mayor has, at instances, appeared to acquiesce to the criticism. On Wednesday, the mayor delivered a speech designed to melt his stance on Mr. Neely’s demise, referred to as for extra assist for homeless New Yorkers, and stated clearly for the primary time that “Jordan Neely didn’t need to die.”

Two days later, Daniel Penny, a Marine veteran who utilized the chokehold to Mr. Neely, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, and Mr. Adams welcomed the information, saying, “now justice can transfer ahead towards Daniel Penny.”

Within the interview, Mr. Adams stated that he identifies as progressive — simply not the model embodied by the Democratic Socialists of America. In truth, he stated that the “far left” had received main successes throughout his administration on points just like the setting, together with citywide composting, and applications to help younger folks concerned within the justice system.

Mr. Adams has additionally been a vocal supporter of abortion rights and Democratic social points. Throughout his marketing campaign, he crafted a plan to assist poor folks, by way of tax credit, low price youngster care and a brand new web site to entry metropolis advantages, and he’s following by way of on these measures.

“I’m a mix of nearly each mayor, from Koch to Dinkins — I’m skipping over Giuliani — to Bloomberg to de Blasio,” he stated. “I’m a mix of all these guys as a result of I realized from all of them.”

Liset Cruz and Nate Schweber contributed reporting.