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High Ranking NYPD Cop Comes to Sunnyside and Says Bail Reform is Putting People’s Safety at Risk

NYPD Chief of the Department Terence Monahan speaking the 108 Precinct Council Meeting in Sunnyside Tuesday (Photo: @nypd108)

Jan. 30, 2020 By Christian Murray

The state’s new bail reform law is putting public safety at risk and is making it harder for the NYPD to combat crime, according to a high-ranking NYPD officer who spoke at the 108 Police Precinct Council meeting in Sunnyside on Tuesday.

Terence Monahan, NYPD Chief of the Department, said that the new law has already led to an uptick in crime this year. Across the city, major crime is up 11 percent for the year through Jan. 19 and in the 108 Police Precinct there were 49 crimes reported vs. 34 for the same period in 2019.

“We are going to see the numbers rising and more people getting victimized,” Monahan said, who has been a cop for 38 years and is the highest-ranking NYPD officer in uniform. “These aren’t just numbers but these are people.”

Monahan is urging residents to reach out to their state representatives to put pressure on them to modify the law. He said he is going to precinct meetings across the city advocating for change.

“2020 is going to be a challenging year for us—you see it already,” Monahan said. “You have all heard about bail reform. Well, we are feeling the effects of it and make no doubt about it—a lot of what is going on out there can be related to bail reform.”

Under the law, people charged with most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies are no longer required to post bail and have to be released. A judge has no discretion to keep them in custody.

Crimes subject to the new bail reform laws include stalking, assault without serious injury, burglary, many drug offences and certain robberies. Individuals facing these charges remain free until their cases move through the courts.

Under the previous rules, judges could only set bail based on whether a defendant was likely to show up in court—and not whether he or she posed a risk to public safety. However, over time, judges used bail as a means to keep individuals with long criminal records behind bars.

Advocates for reform say that people are innocent until proven guilty and that the previous policy favored the wealthy, who have the cash to afford bail. They say that the old policy unfairly led to the poor–and particularly people of color– being incarcerated due to a lack of funds.

Furthermore, supporters of the bail law say the police are being alarmist—and that judges are still able to set bail for violent felonies.

Monahan, however, gave examples of recent cases dealing with bank robberies and car thefts, where convicted felons were arrested—then let go—only to do the same crime soon after.

Deputy Inspector Michael Gibbs, the 108 Precinct Commander, said that he was concerned that a career burglar who has been targeting homes in the area will be released upon arrest.

But Monahan said that state legislators don’t need to repeal the law, just amend it to protect public safety. He said much of the reform was needed.

“Cash bail for someone who can’t pay $100 to get out of jail is not fair—I completely agree,” Monahan said. “But no bail and out on the street for a 5-time convicted burglar who burglarizes houses is not fair to the public.”

He said that judges should be given discretion to set bail on the basis of public safety, and the judges should be held accountable to the public. He said that judges are elected and that the public should monitor their decisions.

“If a judge lets everyone walk it should be made public—and if they throw away the key for someone who is trying to feed their family that too should be public,” Monahan said.

Monahan said that NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea spent time up in Albany last week trying to convince legislators that the law needs changing.

“We don’t need it repealed—just adjusted,” Monahan said. “It can make all the difference in the world to public safety.”

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11 Comments

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Anonymous

Commit a felony and then another while the first case is pending and money bail becomes an option again. If you are of the opinion that it means “dangerous criminals” will be set back on the loose then please go to your nearest courthouse and ask to be arrested and remanded for crimes you have yet to be convicted of, or possibly yet to commit, to show your dedication to the cause.

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Circumstances Where Sanctions May Include Money Bail or Electronic Monitoring In cases involving any of the following four forms of pretrial noncompliance, the court may set money bail(even if bail was not previously allowed at arraignment) but may not remand the defendant. The four forms of noncompliance are (1)“persistently and willfully failed to appear” in the current case; (2) violated an order of protection (PL 215.51.b, c, or d); (3) initially charged with a misdemeanor or violation and then charged withfelony witness intimidation or tampering during the pretrial period; or (4) **** initially charged with a felony and charged with a new felony while the first case is pending.*** A defendant also qualifies for electronic monitoring in response to the above four forms of noncompliance.

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Anonymous

This officer is at the point where he felt he had to raise his hand on something important. Do we think he did so because he’s political or possibly he is concerned for the public and felt he had to take a stand?

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gag

He’s lying.

Release is at the judges discretion. So if someone is a risk to the community or is a repeat offender they will not be released; and if they are it is on the judge, not the system itself.

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James Blackburn

Says the anonymous internet troll who I’m sure has spent just as much time dealing with this issue as this officer. I’m sure they haven’t just gotten their information second hand from somebody who believes all law enforcement is evil and every criminal is simply misunderstood.

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Anon

How do you explain the homeless man who knocked a woman’s teeth out in the village earlier this month? He was caught for something similar and release, three or four days later, he knocks a woman’s teeth out.

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gag

It’s up to the judge. If someone dangerous is released it’s entirely the fault of the judge.

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