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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figures released by the NYPD itself demonstrate no such correlation, and we’re wondering whether there is any other, unpublished data you relied upon to conclude that crime is increasing because of the bail reform law,” they wrote to Shea.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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8 Comments

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Ma

What do the victims and their families say about this ? These victims are traumatize for are very long time . The criminals should be punished

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Mr Lopez

Sen. Jessica Ramos does nothing to combat the crime in Jackson Heights & Corona . Crime will continue to go up because no one wants to punish the criminals

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Neighbor

Rick,
This article isn’t about shutting down Rikers. But OK, let’s go there anyway. Please do your homework on what happens when we cage people for years on end as a result of non-violent charges, regardless of guilt, offering them no education or services. These people get out and are far worse off than they were before. No one will hire them, so they return to crime. You become no safer. I work in this field—unlike you, I’m not blindly spouting my opinion. Until prison becomes corrective, we do not truly have a Department of Corrections. We just have cages.

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Oh Please

So what is it? A coincidence? Please. When DeBlasio goes on the record and admits it, you know we’re in trouble.

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JH4Life

Anyone with an iota of common sense knows that bail reform and kid gloves policies (hands off turnstile jumpers, barring suspensions for unruly students, etc…) have a direct impact in the spike in crime. NYC is on a serious path to more danger for all its residents, regardless of ZIP code.

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