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Bail Reform is Not Responsible for Crime Spike Say Two Queens Council Members, Pair Criticize NYPD Commissioner Shea

L: Council Member Rory Lancman R: Council Member Donovan Richards

Feb. 7, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Two Queens Council Members have accused the NYPD Police Commissioner of creating a “false narrative” by attributing an uptick in crime to the new bail reform laws.

Council Members Donovan Richards and Rory Lancman penned a letter to Commissioner Dermot Shea yesterday asking him to publicly withdraw his comments, adding that the NYPD’s own statistics don’t support his claims.

“Simply put, your numbers don’t add up, and the public and policymakers are ill-served by false narratives that inhibit legitimate conversations about improving the bail reform law,” they wrote.

The letter comes two days after Shea attributed a nearly 17 percent increase in major crimes across the city last month to new bail reform laws that went into effect Jan. 1.

The laws ended pretrial detention and cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, requiring judges to automatically release people charged with such crimes as they await trial.

Critics of the reforms, including Shea, say that some of the people being released are committing additional offences while awaiting trial — leading to a spike in crime.

However, Richards and Lancman believe that Shea’s logic is flawed and that statistics don’t back up his claims.

“Crime data figures released by the NYPD itself demonstrate no such correlation, and we’re wondering whether there is any other, unpublished data you relied upon to conclude that crime is increasing because of the bail reform law,” they wrote to Shea.

The council members gave a break down of the uptick in crime and determined that bail reform had little effect.

They cited NYPD data, which noted that there were 1,222 more major “index crimes” — such as robberies, burglaries and grand larceny auto — in January 2020 than in January 2019.

The council members, citing NYPD data reported by POLITICO, noted that 84 of those crimes were carried out by people automatically released without the need to post bail.

The 84 major crimes account for only 1 percent of major index crimes, they said. Furthermore, some of the alleged perpetrators would have been able to post cash bail under the previous laws in any case.

Even without those re-offenders, major index crimes would have increased by 15.7 percent last month from a year prior, they said.

“Clearly, something other than bail reform caused our January crime numbers to spike,” they wrote.

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33 Comments

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Anonymous

Some of The “Non Violent“ Crimes under the new bail law:
3rd degree Assault, 2nd and 3rd degree robbery,
2nd degree manslaughter, riot, criminal anarchy. I do agree with bail reform for ONLY 1st time Non-Violent offenders. If your keep committing same crime there should be no bail.

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Jason

To the person who replied to me, bail reform mostly considers people accused of non-violent misdemeanors and felonies. Violent crime are still subject to bail.

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Openborders

Koch and Soros are behind criminal bail reform. They have the people in place to keep creating chaos for they own profit. They want the cheap labor from prisoners and big money from privately run jails, they want open borders so they can exploit workers for less wages paying less to the American people, all disguised under “noble” intentions while they keep maintaining the global wealth not allowing for others to take part. Perfect example, while Koch industries control the energy sector, they opened all sorts of schools and non profits to fight climate and have droves of activists and protesters at their disposal, while they keep drilling but others can’t. They would like to keep everyone the same, on low wages pushing socialism while they remain the elite.Wake up before it’s too late! Look at your local politicians, who are they representing with their agenda, themselves backed by the powerful 1%, or us the people who they are supposed to serve.

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Anonymous

@ Jason. Bail reform should not be for VIOLENT offenders. Yet the ones who punch and rob innocent victims, stalk, sexually assault and murderer are set free. Current bail reform rewards violent criminals and illegals. No one is protecting the victims and law abiding citizens! This is an outrage! It’s absolutely ridiculous what city and state leftist democrats(Ganaris, Dromm, Richards, Crowley, Costa, Lancman, Corey Johnson, de Blasio, Cuomo, etc.)are doing to NY!

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Jason

People are innocent until proven guilty. Keeping those who actually are innocent in jail because they cannot afford bail is cruel and counterproductive. While I agree criminals and repeat offenders should stay in jail/prison, it should not be at the worst cost of throwing innocent people under the bus as well

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MAC

Good to see we’re a Democratic-majority state that takes its orders from the Republican minority and Republican-dominated law enforcement agencies. We are constantly reminded who the masters are.

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#dumpdeblasio

wow, Emma! You approve of people “acting out” because of “stress”. Maybe we should all have one big love-in and that will stop crime. Typical liberal making excuses for criminals. Yes, crime is going up in NYC. We have a mayor who disrespects the police and white punks running around Grand Central Station damaging property and asking for free stuff. And repeat criminals are being released with no bail. duh! What do you think the result will be?

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Emma

So many factors can contribute to this increase in crime. January was a very stressful month. We had the Iran situation, impeachment and the beginning news of the corona-virus outbreak to name a few. People react to fear and stress very differently. Personally, I felt depressed so I meditated more, signed up for additional yoga classes and asked for a personal day from work to help me relax which helped. But I understand that people sometimes act out in times of stress negatively and break the law. Hopefully, we can get to a better place in society and help those in need.

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Catherine

The “…discretion of the judge to hold people charged of a crime” does not hold true in NYC bail reform. Advocates for criminal justice reform argue that giving judges this discretion would result in the same biases that saw poor, minority defendants disproportionately incarcerated pretrial while they are still innocent in the eyes of the law.

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Civic education matters

@I want our safe streets back again – Quinn is running for Borough President and bail reform has absolutely nothing to do with bail reform. Bail reform is a state issue handled by the elected officials In Albany.

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I want our safe streets back again

Im voting for the politician who is against bail reform and keeps the streets safe and clean so my family & I and every decent citizen feels safe. Quinn you are getting my vote

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Joanna

Its not only about bail reform. I think this also has to do with current police practices and crime data collecting. It seems like cops are being taught how to for ex. take more selfies with the public nowadays than they are about preventing crime from happening. De Blasio is no longer running for President. Those that he appoints do not have to fudge the truth. He can bounce back and forth between sides in the hopes of trying to look like he has open mind about things while trying to secure a seat for his wife in public office.

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Jacky

The numbers will decrease eventually and the police will take credit for it. Others will argue that since the numbers went back down the increase in crime had nothing to do with bail reform and should not change at all or change minimally. Then everyone will be happy and our local elected officials will go back to focusing on dog runs and bike lanes.

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El loco

Even ultra liberal deBlasio is blaming the spike in crime on the new law. How about at least amending it and not abolishing it. There is going to be a strong conservative backlash pretty soon with all these ridiculous uncompromising liberal laws.

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Anonymous

Come on, bail reform is totally the cause of the crime wave. People in favor of bail reform for major index crimes are CRAZY and it will contribute to a serious crime wave this summer. With this new law, New York is headed back to the bad old days. Time to wake up, folks, unless you want your loved ones effected by this.

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gag

There is a lot of disinformation about the bail reform law. It’s up to the discretion of the judge to hold people charged of a crime.

If a dangerous person is released that’s on the judge, not the law itself. And while certain crimes are up others are down (such as murder).

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ABoondy

right, and when has any judge been held accountable and prosecuted and punished for their lack of judgement that has harmed innocent people? the answer is never in the ultra liberal criminal sanctuary of NYC. and when have you ever seen a politician or judge physically attacked? its always the locals getting attacked.

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Steven Craig

Bail reform sounds good but the flaw is in the charging and in not considering prior arrests in the last 12 months. The latter should automatically disqualify from the catch and release program.

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Liz

Crime goes up and down just like anything else in NYC and many factors can contribute to it. I even believe that the weather plays a role. Jan. was much milder this year in terms of cold and snow compared to last year which means more people are out and about. Sunnyside has never been safer and there is no need to be alarmed. I am more afraid of catching the flu than getting robbed.

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Sara

I agree. If law enforcement can show the increase in crime is due to repeat offenders who might have been held otherwise, then they can make a case that bail reform needs to be altered. If there’s something else going on, then we need to figure out how to fix that.

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Marc torres

I guess common sense doesn’t apply
I guess it’s all a coincidence that crime has skyrocketed since the bail reform law went into effect. So many citizens,cops, and law enforcement experts knew this would happen.
What would the Commissioner know about crime stats? He’s only been a cop who has over 20 years on the job. Who heads the dept that has to arrest and deal with these criminals by an hour to hour basis. To have these 2 bottom of the barrel politicians question them is insulting. A politician is most definitely the most dishonest job in the world. Worse than a car salesman, even worse than a drug dealer. All these pols do is take under the table money and do what their told.

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ABoondy

funny you should mention the bottom of the barrel politicians. reminds me of Kumar from that failed Sunnyside tv show.

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Wake up

Oh c’mon. It’s so obviously the result of bail reform. These guys just want the friends and relatives of all the dirtbags to vote for them. And that’s a large group of people, unfortunately.

Politicians don’t have to worry about safety because they have protection that the rest of us don’t have, or they live in neighborhoods that have low crime rates (for now ).

It’s easy to be so liberal about these issues when they don’t actually affect you. Wake up.

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LIC DIRECT

Same people released again and again are committing crimes ! Just ask Jimmy, who is trying to reinvent himself as the law and order progressive.

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Ok, don't listen to the police

Listen to us, the ones that have to walk the streets, the ones that live in Sunnyside and see real crime. Tell the people that has been stabbed, robbed, those families at Sunnyside Gardens who were invaded, tell them that your bail law is not the reason for the crime increase.

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Brutus

There were too many innocent black and brown men scooped up by NYPD and detained like it was 1775.
Hopefully this is an end to the prison for profits.

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Thomas Jefferson

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

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El loco

Yeh, I guess these 2 pencil pushing liberals know better than cops who are out on the streets protecting people’s lives daily.

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Arvin

I urge people to remember Mr. Richards ridiculous position on bail reform when voting for borough president

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