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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figures released by the NYPD itself demonstrate no such correlation, and we’re wondering whether there is any other, unpublished data you relied upon to conclude that crime is increasing because of the bail reform law,” they wrote to Shea.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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23 Comments

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Liberalcity

Lies! It’s the fear mongering and politicizing of bail reform! Murders, rapists, robbers, vandals and thugs are unfairly targeted! Everyone that says otherwise is racist! Police doesn’t know anything about bail reform, but Richards running for borough president keeps making Queens safer for criminals.

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Anonymous

The bail reform progressives are the anti-vaxxers of the criminal justice system. Catch em, cuff em and let them go with Mets tickets, a metrocard, some lavender oil and everything will be fine.

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pat macnamara

A bloated government that does nothing for the law-abiding constituents they profess to represent. Of course the spike in crime is linked to this. If you don’t keep the criminals in jail they will commit more crimes! These two will say bail is racist, discriminatory, yet will not once think of the victims of these crimes. The 1970s are storming back! All of you deniers will see your property values plummet as people will tire of this and flee this city once again.

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Mac

Pat – I am totally against this bail reform law in its current form however I do find your posts hypocritical. Your quote “If you don’t keep the criminals in jail they will commit more crimes!” Does this sentiment carry over to a recidivist who was recently convicted of stealing $2 Million from veterans and ordered by a judge to give the money back and also convicted of fraud in a phony university scam and forced to pay restitution of $28 Million to those victims?

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Pat Macnamaracists bail reform benefits minorities

So no shocker you’re against it of course. The VAST majority of defendants show up without bail.

You make a great point though–anyone that’s arrested should be in jail, guilty until proven innocent.

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Melissa

I had a hard time getting a good night’s sleep during the month of January. I can now add loud police sirens that speed throughout the day and night in addition to all the quality of life issues taking place in Astoria. I understand that crime is up all over the city but I am looking forward to moving away from the late night bars and restaurants on every Ave, traffic, LGA, Con Ed, crowds and dirt. I rather travel here to visit/party and move into a quieter neighborhood with my family.

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Tanya

Focus on affordable housing, better healthcare, family services including Well-Being programs and education and that will help reduce the crime rate.

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Maria

I really don’t feel safe anymore walking on the streets and riding the subway in Astoria. I do not care what caused it. Lets focus on fixing it!

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Ron

Police officials are trying to tie bail reform to all the crime taking place in Astoria and there is no link!

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Anonymous

Astoria is the only physical link to Rikers Island. All people released from there must pass through Astoria. Some stay here but I have found those to mostly be respectful when they are begging. I believe the crime wave is caused more by newer criminals and wise-ass kids who now know that they can commit a robbery and not be held long. The policy sends the wrong message to troubled youths that are thinking about committing crimes for the first time. Crime pays.

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Becky

The issue here isn’t with bail reform it’s with how we handle poverty and mental illness.

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Dreamer

Do you think the guy in the Bronx shot the NYPD officer because he is poor or has mental problems? Or both? Or is he just a bad person who does not have any regard to society, “others” and human life? That is not right to label criminals as poor, mentally disturbed, minority, uneducated etc… What about the other millions of people who are poor, uneducated, minority etc. who just walk through the life’s struggles without offending anybody, minding their own business? Open up your eyes before it’s late folks! Imagine what a police shooter would do to your kids, families, your business.. Unfortunately the local politics came to a point where offenders “reasons” became more important than victims “rights” and the wellbeing of society.. This is not the America I dreamed of..

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Anonymous

Maybe a dreamt of a safe America and yeah if people commit crimes they belong in jail. Don’t be afraid to have conviction and standards snowflake.

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Streamer

I dreamt of an America where people are looking for their and loved ones’ future instead of asking for anarchy. Somewhere land of law in effect.. It’s going to be late by the time you realize crime culture takes over and makes this city another American ghetto where you want to go home before dark..

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Bail Reform is Bad

Oh Yes, the Bail Reform is responsible for increased crime. Yes it is! Speak to the 92 year old Queens lady while feeding the feral cats in her neighborhood was raped and murdered by an illegal alien –A 92 year old lady, raped, this should not have happened to her!

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Anonymous

Hmmmm they started emptying out Rikers months ago in anticipation of new bail rules. This increased crime wave is months in the making. And this genius wants to be Boro prez?? Another panderer to the looney left. Blame the police for your community’s crime????

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Laura

The absolute last people whom anyone should ever listen to on the question of policy is law enforcement. They like to blame others for a job they are not doing correctly.

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Charles Martel

One of ’em is your next borough president. LOL. Democrats are going to turn this into the biggest third world country on Earth!

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Anonymous

Bail reform has created a lack of deterrent. New offenders realize they won’t be kept in jail.

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