After a video clip obtained by The New York Post allegedly showed a 16-year-old boy punching a cop at a subway station last week, Mayor Eric Adams is speaking out about New York’s controversial bail reform law.
“One aspect that was missing” from the recording, Adams said, was the fact that the teen was arrested for robbery on Wednesday, “just a few days ago.”
“Now he’s back, decides he’s not going to pay his fare…The transit officer could have arrested him for not paying his fare. He didn’t do that. He told him to leave this system and, in response, we saw in the video what happened,” he said during a press conference at City Hall.
Mayor Adams is calling on the state legislature to hold a special session to alter criminal justice reform laws and make it harder for people accused of robbery and other violent offenses to be released on bail.
He added: “We need to look at violent offenders and this is a clear case of that. We are saying: Re-examine the bail laws in the area of violent offenders — violent offenders,” he said.
According to the latest NYPD report, major crimes are up by more than a third between 2021 and 2022. Murders are down slightly over the year. However, transit crimes are up more than 50% over 2021. This marks the highest year-over-year jump of any of the categories tracked in the report.
Adams blames the reforms that limit the number of offenses for which judges could remand defendants to jail and raised the age at which authorities could charge people as adults from 16 to 18 years old.
“As soon as we catch them, the system releases them, and they repeat the action,” Adams said. “When I say we’re the laughingstock of the country, this is what I’m talking about. How do we keep our city safe when the other parts of the criminal justice system — they have abandoned our public safety apparatus?
The Mayor is suggesting that Albany lawmakers should rewrite the bail rules as they did in June to pass new legislation that prohibited where civilians can carry guns.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell echoed the Mayor’s comments, calling the incident an “another example of individuals emboldened by a system that, just days ago, immediately released one of them after being arrested for robbery.”
“Once again, they are shown that there are no consequences for violent criminality,” Sewell tweeted.