De Blasio: Bail Reform May Be Partly To Blame For NYC Crime Spike

Mack Rosenberg
February 08, 2020 - 1:24 pm
NYPD officer

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Mayor Bill de Blasio said a spike in crime across the city so far this year is at least partly because of the state’s new controversial bail reform law.

Earlier this week the NYPD reported a 17 percent increase in crime for January. The department said that 143 people had committed 230 crimes after being released and awaiting trial.

“We had for six years steady decreases in crime across the board,” the mayor said on WNYC. “There’s not a lot of other environmental things that have changed recently that would suggest it. I’m not saying it’s the only factor. I’m saying it sort of stands out like a sore thumb that this is the single biggest new thing in the equation, and we saw an extraordinary jump.”

But de Blasio doesn’t want to place blame. He said lawmakers had the right idea with the controversial bail reform law, which helps poor people avoid having to pay bail on misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.

“The folks in Albany who crafted this reform did it for the right reasons. And they worked to undo generations of unfairness and people languishing in jail because they couldn’t afford $500 bail and all sorts of things that were unconscionable.”

De Blasio does think the law could use some revisions. He said judges should be able to decide if a person should be locked up while awaiting trial.

“There are some individuals who are just consistently by their own actions and by the proof of due process, consistently create a threat to their neighbors,” the mayor said.