Crime is notably up in New York City this year, and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea is clear on the cause: It’s the new state “bail reform” laws.
Let repeat offenders roam free — and you’re bound to see more crime. That, Shea says, is what’s happening in the wake of the reforms that took full effect Jan. 1: They require the immediate release of nearly all suspects soon after arrest, with exceptions only in the most violent cases.
“If you let out individuals that commit a lot of crime, that’s precision policing in reverse,” Shea warned late last week. “We’re seeing the effects in a very quick time.”
He cited a “significant” crime spike for the first three weeks of 2020: By Friday, overall incidents were up 11 percent, including 233 more robberies (32 percent) and 159 car thefts (61 percent).
“Either we forgot how to police,” snarked the commish, or there’s “a correlation” between crime and the reforms.
Sure, it’s a short-term pattern. Yet the crime surge comes “at the same time that you have [state and local jail] populations dropping significantly,” Shea argued.
Not only are criminals who get set loose free to strike again; they also (logically) assume they’ll suffer no consequences if re-arrested — so why not commit new crimes?
That likely was Gerod Woodberry’s reasoning: When let go despite four alleged bank heists, he reportedly expressed shock: “I can’t believe they let me out,” he gushed. “What were they thinking?”
Cops say Woodberry quickly robbed two more banks. Were it not for a federal prosecutor, US Attorney Richard Donoghue, stepping in, he’d be back on the streets again, free to hit more banks.
“No sound, rational and fair criminal-justice system requires the pre-trial release of criminal defendants who demonstrate such determination to continuously commit serious crimes,” fumed Donoghue.
Alas, state lawmakers never consulted with any law-enforcement professionals before rushing through the changes.
Yet pols like Speaker Carl Heastie refuse to even discuss fixing the law. Don’t be surprised if the surge becomes a long-term trend.