NYC Mayor Admits Bail Reform Responsible For City's Skyrocketing Crime Rates
New York, NY – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday acknowledged the connection between the city’s skyrocketing crime rate and the state’s new bail reform laws that put all but the most violent offenders immediately back out on the streets.
De Blasio was a big supporter of passing the new law that did away with cash bail as of Jan. 1 but now he’s found himself in the crosshairs after the result was exactly what law enforcement predicted, the New York Post reported.
He spent the first few weeks of 2020 dodging questions about the immediate effects of eliminating cash bail before he could no longer avoid the topic and admitted there was a problem.
But it's impossible to ignore the fact that shootings are up almost 29 percent, robberies are up almost 37 percent, and auto thefts are up by almost 72 percent, WCBS reported.
“We saw things emanating from this law starting [to] take effect months ago and obviously now it’s in full effect. But the bottom line is, one, we’ve been 100 percent clear and we are unified on what we feel. Two, we want to act on this productively,” de Blasio claimed a few days earlier. “We’re in dialogue with leaders in Albany about those concerns, and we want to move forward. In the meantime, this police force can handle anything thrown at them.”
But by Feb. 7, the optics were such that even the mayor had to admit defeat.
“We had, for six years, steady decreases in crime across the board. There’s not a whole lot of other environmental things that have changed recently,” the mayor said. “It sort of stands out like a sore thumb that this is the single biggest new thing in the equation and we saw an extraordinary jump.”
“Of course there’s always a possibility this is plain statistical variation, that happens sometimes,” he added. “But I think it’s pretty clear that there’s only one new major piece in the equation.”
De Blasio has said he supported giving judges more authority to hold offenders in jail if they are deemed a threat to the public, the New York Post reported.
“I think judicial discretion should be clarified so that there are very clear checks and balances, so that we avoid any inkling of bias entering into the process, but I think a system predicated only on the question of flight risk misses the fact that there are some individuals who are just consistently, by their own actions, and by the proof of due process, consistently creat[ing] a threat to their neighbors,” the mayor said.
Critics of the new bail reform laws have pointed to multiple incidents of further crimes that were committed after someone who previously would have been held in jail on bail was dropped right back onto the streets the next day.
One man with three prior drunk driving convictions, who killed a 27-year-old man on Jan. 12 while driving “more than 135 miles per hour,” bragged when he was arrested that he would be released without bail the next day under New York’s new bail reform laws because the crash was “just a DWI.”
He was right.
A woman was arrested three times in five days only to re-offend on each occasion and physically assault additional people.
Republican state lawmakers have tried to get the Democratically-held state house to commit to revising the new bail reform laws but they refused.
One Long Island judge tried to hold a defendant he called “a menace to society” only to have a higher court overturn his decision and set the repeat offender free.