You are reading

Holden Introduces Resolution Calling on All Hate Charges to Be Made Bail Eligible

Council Member Robert Holden has introduced a resolution to address the rising number of hate crimes in New York City (NYC Council via Flickr)

Aug. 4, 2021 By Michael Dorgan 

Queens Council Member Robert Holden has introduced a resolution calling on state lawmakers to pass a bill that would allow judges to set bail when dealing with defendants who face hate crime charges— no matter their severity.

The resolution, introduced on July 29, aims to address the increase in the number of hate crimes reported in the city since sweeping bail reform changes came into effect in early 2020.

Currently, judges are prohibited from setting bail on most misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges – including many hate crimes. For instance, hate crime charges like menacing and aggravated harassment are not bail eligible.

The defendants, in such cases, are automatically released while awaiting trial. However, bail remains an option for judges in cases involving violent felonies.

At present, only two hate crimes – assault as a hate crime and arson as a hate crime – are bail eligible, meaning that defendants can be held until trial or be required to post bail.

The resolution calls on the New York State legislature to pass – and the governor to sign – a law that would give judges the power to detain defendants on any type of hate crime charge before they face trial.

This, the resolution states, would provide judges with the option to “more meaningfully” address hate crimes. Brooklyn Council Member Kalman Yeger co-sponsored the resolution.

“With over 3 million foreign-born residents, New York City is incredibly diverse… there can be no tolerance for hate crimes perpetrated against any New Yorker,” the resolution reads.

According to NYPD data, there were 322 hate crime complaints in the first half of this year compared to 128 during the same period in 2020. The council members said that a large portion of these hate crimes were anti-Semitic or anti-Asian in nature.

“Expanding bail eligibility to all hate crimes underlines the seriousness with which the city takes these types of attacks,” the resolution reads.

The passage of a resolution in the city council– although not legally binding– would send a message to Albany calling for reform.

Holden, whose district includes Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth, has railed against recent bail reform policies which he blames, in part, for a spike in crime in the city.

“Bail reform has been a disaster, but the change called for in this resolution would be a step in the right direction by allowing judges to require bail in those cases,” Holden said in a statement.

“Individuals arrested for hate crimes should not be released without bail.”

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.