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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figures released by the NYPD itself demonstrate no such correlation, and we’re wondering whether there is any other, unpublished data you relied upon to conclude that crime is increasing because of the bail reform law,” they wrote to Shea.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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10 Comments

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Spyros Pappadimos

Hey . They say give it a chance. They will never back peddle. They want NYS to turn into a toilet like Oakland LA Chicago Detroit Baltimore. NYS is on its last legs

Reply
VVNY

Politicians never look out for the people. They look out only for their re-election. And to do that they will with straight face say that fact is not a fact and not a fact is a fact.

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JaimeBee

So if the state law automatically releasing most criminals back onto the street isn’t responsible for the spikes in crime, then are Lancman and Donovan blaming the City Council’s lax safety measures? Are they blaming the Mayor?

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David

I’m against this bail reform in its current form. I’m also against the turning of a blind eye and siding with criminals like the Republican controlled senate did. Trump was also recently convicted of stealing $2 Million from veterans and forced, by a judge, to pay it back and also convicted of fraud in the Trump University scam and forced by a judge to pay $28 Million in restitution to his victims. Trump is a recidivist and his backers are first to cry about “crime” except when the crime is perpetrated by rich people in position.

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Dr. Barry Feinstein

Oh please. It is merely coincidental that “we” stop penalizing criminals and instantly release them back into the wild and crime increases. Let’s look at that one lady who was in for hate crimes then was released and attacked people within an hour of her release. What’s next? Climate change is to blame for uptick in crime? CoronaVirus is to blame? Perhaps it is poor policies, pandering to the lowest of the low, and turning your back on the NYPD which caused the uptick in crime. Worst Mayor in NYC history.

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Queensresident

Sure, and 2+2 =5. I don’t need to see numbers to see that crime is up. It’s pretty obvious just how much the city has changed and quality of life is down, take the train, sketchy characters smoking on platform, going to the toilet , assaults are the norm, catch and release. Current city politicians created this environment giving the ok to all who commit crimes.

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Skippy

Bail reform is ‘catch and release ‘ and puts all the good citizens of this City at increased risk of being victimized.

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