Nearly 90 percent of suspects thought to have committed gun-related crimes in New York City have been released back onto the streets, a policy the New York Police Department says has fueled a crime spike that has left more than 1,756 dead or wounded.
The New York Post reports that about 3,345 of the 3,793 suspects arrested between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30 for firearms crimes were let go, many of whom were released under a new policy that prohibits judges from setting monetary bail on some “non-violent” gun-possession charges.
The NYPD says the new rule is behind the rising rates of gun violence in the Big Apple.
“We have made staggering numbers of gun arrests, taking guns off the streets from felons … but when you look, three days later, four days later, those individuals are back on the street committing more gun violence,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Tuesday.
Shea reported that shootings have climbed to 1,433 and are on track to reach a 14-year high by the end of 2020.
The NYPD told The NY Post that of the 3,793 arrested in the first 11 months of the year on gun charges, 247 of them were accused of new crimes within just 60 days of their initial gun arrest. Among the suspects in this year’s gun-related crimes, 40 percent have been caught with a gun previously.
Experts says this “revolving door” policy is certainly part of why the city has seen a spike in gun-related crime rates.
“If an individual is willing to shoot someone, why are we giving them a chance to do it again?” asked John Jay College of Criminal Justice Professor and retired NYPD detective sergeant Joseph Giacalone, who added sarcastically, “It’s not like we are up nearly 100 percent in shootings or anything.
“I can hear reformers argue that most shooters haven’t [committed new crimes]. Tell that to the victims’ families,” he told the Post.
In one example reported by the Post, a 17-year-old named Aizhan Paul was arrested on September 6 when police spotted him with an open container of alcohol and found a loaded handgun in his fanny pack. But he was released following his arraignment and arrested just over a month later for shooting a 19-year-old in the chest.
The movement to end monetary bail has gained steam in recent months as part of the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd. Along with seeking to outlaw monetary bail, these activists work to raise money to pay bail for BLM protestors and looters. Vice-President-elect and avowed anti-gunner Kamala Harris encouraged her followers on Twitter to donate to one such fund in June.