NYC Mayor Adams and police slam bail reform policies amid arrests of repeat offenders: ‘Insanity definition’

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams and police department chiefs have called the state’s bail reform laws ‘crazy’ and ‘dangerous’ amid a spike in arrests and a series of high-profile attacks on law enforcement and the public.

New York Police Department Commissioner Keechant Sewell joined Adams and other NYPD officials for a press conference at NYPD headquarters, where she spoke about the “challenges we face every day in New York City.” .

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.

— Eric Adams, Mayor of New York

These are repeat offenders who make New Yorkers suffer unnecessarily. Every day, as hard-working New Yorkers start their day or evening at work or school, or simply to enjoy what this city has to offer, repeat criminals plan or take the opportunity to commit their next robbery, robbery, burglary or other crime,” Sewell said. “Their efforts are increasingly aided by the fact that after the NYPD arrests them, the criminal justice system fails to hold them properly accountable for their acts. These offenders face very few, if any, repercussions even if they commit crime after crime.”

The city’s police chief added that the number of crime victims “continues to rise”.

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“Your NYPD officers are talking to these victims. We stand with them and will proudly work for them with every resource we have,” she continued. “But for too many of these victims, justice is elusive. Justice and fairness go hand in hand. The public service must work together on behalf of all the people we serve.”

Sewell noted that New York remains the only state with a law that prevents judges from considering an offender’s potential threat to public safety when making custody decisions.

“It doesn’t serve the next innocent victim,” she said. “It doesn’t serve our officers and it doesn’t serve the quality of life. We can and must do better.”

Mayor Adams stressed that this was not “a battle against those who saw the need to reform a criminal justice system”, but “against those who exploit those reforms”.

Adams said there are “four components to the criminal justice process: police, judges, prosecutors, legislators” and they must “operate in unison.”

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He said NYPD arrests were up more than 24% as of Aug. 1, with 109,000 arrests this year compared to 87,794 arrests in the same period in 2021. Arrests for the seven major crimes rose about 29%, he said.

Arrests for weapons are at their highest level in 27 years, while the number of murders and shootings are down for the year, he said.

“What doesn’t work,” the mayor added, “are the other three rooms.”

“They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results,” Adams told reporters. “Our criminal justice system is insane. It’s dangerous, it’s harmful, and it’s destroying the fabric of our city. Time and time again, our police officers make an arrest, and then the person arrested for assault, felony assault, thefts, and the possession of firearms ends up on the street within days – even hours – of arrest, and they go on to commit other crimes within weeks or even days.

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NYPD officers examine the scene of the stabbing on Decatur Ave. in the Bronx.
(Peter Gerber)

He acknowledged that there might be further reforms needed, and said this was not an attack on these, but added: “It is a small number of people who take advantage of existing laws to endanger our city.”

NYPD Chief of Crime Strategies Michael LiPetri said investigators have identified 716 people who are behind about 30% of the roughly 2,400 shootings since 2021.

“We know who they are,” he said.

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Fifty-four percent of those 716 people — 385 people — have an open felony, he said.

That’s 0.008% of New York’s population responsible for 30% of shootings in New York over the last year and a half.”

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