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High Ranking NYPD Cop Comes to Sunnyside and Says Bail Reform is Putting People’s Safety at Risk

NYPD Chief of the Department Terence Monahan speaking the 108 Precinct Council Meeting in Sunnyside Tuesday (Photo: @nypd108)

Jan. 30, 2020 By Christian Murray

The state’s new bail reform law is putting public safety at risk and is making it harder for the NYPD to combat crime, according to a high-ranking NYPD officer who spoke at the 108 Police Precinct Council meeting in Sunnyside on Tuesday.

Terence Monahan, NYPD Chief of the Department, said that the new law has already led to an uptick in crime this year. Across the city, major crime is up 11 percent for the year through Jan. 19 and in the 108 Police Precinct there were 49 crimes reported vs. 34 for the same period in 2019.

“We are going to see the numbers rising and more people getting victimized,” Monahan said, who has been a cop for 38 years and is the highest-ranking NYPD officer in uniform. “These aren’t just numbers but these are people.”

Monahan is urging residents to reach out to their state representatives to put pressure on them to modify the law. He said he is going to precinct meetings across the city advocating for change.

“2020 is going to be a challenging year for us—you see it already,” Monahan said. “You have all heard about bail reform. Well, we are feeling the effects of it and make no doubt about it—a lot of what is going on out there can be related to bail reform.”

Under the law, people charged with most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies are no longer required to post bail and have to be released. A judge has no discretion to keep them in custody.

Crimes subject to the new bail reform laws include stalking, assault without serious injury, burglary, many drug offences and certain robberies. Individuals facing these charges remain free until their cases move through the courts.

Under the previous rules, judges could only set bail based on whether a defendant was likely to show up in court—and not whether he or she posed a risk to public safety. However, over time, judges used bail as a means to keep individuals with long criminal records behind bars.

Advocates for reform say that people are innocent until proven guilty and that the previous policy favored the wealthy, who have the cash to afford bail. They say that the old policy unfairly led to the poor–and particularly people of color– being incarcerated due to a lack of funds.

Furthermore, supporters of the bail law say the police are being alarmist—and that judges are still able to set bail for violent felonies.

Monahan, however, gave examples of recent cases dealing with bank robberies and car thefts, where convicted felons were arrested—then let go—only to do the same crime soon after.

Deputy Inspector Michael Gibbs, the 108 Precinct Commander, said that he was concerned that a career burglar who has been targeting homes in the area will be released upon arrest.

But Monahan said that state legislators don’t need to repeal the law, just amend it to protect public safety. He said much of the reform was needed.

“Cash bail for someone who can’t pay $100 to get out of jail is not fair—I completely agree,” Monahan said. “But no bail and out on the street for a 5-time convicted burglar who burglarizes houses is not fair to the public.”

He said that judges should be given discretion to set bail on the basis of public safety, and the judges should be held accountable to the public. He said that judges are elected and that the public should monitor their decisions.

“If a judge lets everyone walk it should be made public—and if they throw away the key for someone who is trying to feed their family that too should be public,” Monahan said.

Monahan said that NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea spent time up in Albany last week trying to convince legislators that the law needs changing.

“We don’t need it repealed—just adjusted,” Monahan said. “It can make all the difference in the world to public safety.”

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17 Comments

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SuperWittySmitty

This is a topic that’s controversial and it seems like the tabloids are misrepresenting the truth. A core issue here is that bail should not only be available to those that can afford it, as it’s been for so long. What bothers me is a cop speaking out so publically and so loudly on public policy. This is highly unusual and inappropriate. His words are sensational and meant to scare the public, especially the ignorant.

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Observer

If someone did something non-violent they were to let them go w/o bail. There have been quite a few cases of assaults and a DWI where someone was killed and the assailant was let go. That is the issue with this law.

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Why does the Radical Right love identity politics?

Because he’s in a uniform we should listen to his political opinion? Aren’t the majority of police officers alcoholics?

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Sunnysideklg

Bail reform is not bad per se, but they’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Right now it’s a revolving door and that’s bad for everybody. Some kind of roll back is necessary. On the other hand, I don’t see much policing here. Every time I see police officers, whether on foot, in the subway, or in their cars, they have their phones in the hands texting away, oblivious to everything that is happening around them. It’s as if they have stopped caring. Why is this allowed? Police supervisors get out and see what your officers are doing.

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WakeUpSunnyside

The correlation between a bail free system and an uptick in crime is truly sad on this forum. I hope that you understand that high bail is not the solution to preventing crime, it’s the problem. When you keep someone in jail over their inability to pay a ridiculous bail amount, which in reality has been set by a corporation that preys on someones economic status, you increase crime. You keep people in jail therefore keeping them away from their jobs or the ability to pay their bills, therefore they are likely to commit a second offense JUST so that they can survive in a world that has taken their lives from them because of ridiculous bail amount for petty crimes. Also, setting a high bail doesn’t go back into your community, it goes straight to the pockets of these corporate thugs. So let’s do this, instead of having a NYPD (whatever he is) discuss bail reform, let’s talk about how we can improve policing in the community.

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Sara Ross

Bail reform should NEVER have been passed and needs to be repealed before more people are assaulted or killed by the pieces of garbage that are out there that are arrested at, say 6:00 p.m. and are out before 6:00 a.m. again hurting people!

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WakeupSunnyside

This is absurd. The bail system is a corporate entity trying to sustain its meaningless tactics towards poor people of color. Why isn’t he reevaluating his department and increasing foot patrol, rather than keeping up with the same old tactic of keeping poor people of color behind bars for misdemeanor crimes.

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People should die in jail because they can't pay bail, it's only fair

These are the same people that said stop n frisk reduced crime. That was a lie.

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Marc torres

Stats released last week by NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea since the new year have burglaries up 18%,
Robberies up 32% and car thefts up 61%. The stolen car rate is amazing, considering the fact the stealing cars was actually unheard of the past decade do to good work by nypd auto crime unit, and also the fact that most modern day cars are equipped with some sort of tracking system like GM’s Onstar system. I can’t remember when I heard someone’s car was stolen. The thieves find it easier just to take what they want from the car while it’s parked like airbags and
Headlights which could be valued at around $4000 depending on vehicle.
But some how auto crime is up 61%.
We can thank the liberal democrats for return of auto crime.

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CarmeloManning

No wonder there is an uptick in crime overall in the city. We NEED to make sure NYC doesn’t revert back to the mess in the 70s and 80s. Vote against these clowns who want to close every jail and let anyone do anything.

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Cato

See… This is why the Founders created a country of Liberty and self responsibility when government falls short. Get yourself a g un because you’ll need it when seconds count but the police are minutes maybe even hours away. A carry town is a polite town.

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