Albany, NY – One of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) top cops slammed the city’s new bail reform measure during a radio interview on Sunday, and said it will release as many as 99 percent of suspects onto the streets without bail.
New York Police Department (NYPD) Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-terrorism John Miller made the statements during an interview with WNYM.
The commissioner noted that New York City’s jail populations are at their lowest point since 1978, and that state prison populations are the lowest they have been “in years.”
Commissioner Miller referred to the measure, which goes into effect in January of 2020, as “misguided criminal justice reform,” and said it was enacted to help reduce racial disparities.
“Everybody who gets arrested for anything except for maybe murder and attempted murder is going to be released without having to pay anything outright at arraignment,” Commissioner Miller told WNYM. “Before they enacted this law, 89 percent…of people were being released at arraignment without having to pay bail anyway.”
“Now that’s probably going to go to 99 percent,” the commissioner continued. “Which is going to be a problem because criminals are going to know at the time they’re arrested ‘I’m not really risking going to jail. I’m not really risking anything except going through the system and coming out the other end.’”
The change will also affect how quickly case information will be doled out to defense attorneys and suspects.
“The [suspect] is immediately released without having to pay any bail or spend any time in jail, and then within three weeks they have the name of the person who was the complainant, they have the [names of the] witnesses, they have their addresses and their phone numbers,” Commissioner Miller said.
“That’s gonna be a real problem,” he added. “And one we could’ve seen coming.”
In June, New York Police Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) President Ed Mullins warned that the bail reform would lead to “a free-for-all” equivalent to the “movie The Purge,” the New York Post reported.
“This is the beginning of it,” Mullins said. “Law enforcement is going to be out there holding this bag of crap when it starts. The judges are going to get the blame when they start releasing people back into the streets.”
Elimination of the bail system will create a dangerous environment not only for law enforcement officers, but also for citizens, the union president added.
District attorneys from all five of the city’s boroughs have also spoken out against the bail reform, the New York Post reported.
“The actions they have taken will put victims in danger and I quite frankly do find the whole package unfathomable and outrageous,” Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon railed in April.
“They are tying our hands, they’re tying our feet and they’re gagging victims from coming forward to stand up for their rights,” McMahon added. “Many people accused with violent crimes, serious felonies, are going to be back on the street.”