Audiences at the Manhattan Crime Summit on Thursday erupted into applause when a senior police officer took on a state MP who defended New York’s controversial bail reform bill and blamed cops for not making enough arrests.
NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey looked upset when Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) said many cops were “taking the position” that bail reform would put anyone they arrested back on the street.
“It’s not really their calling to decide whether someone should be arrested because they’re about to be released. These decisions must be made by others,” he added.
When Maddry got a chance to respond, she pointed to the repeat offender statistics provided earlier by the moderator of their Manhattan Chamber of Commerce panel.
“Respectfully, Assemblyman…there wouldn’t be repeat offenders if officers didn’t arrest them all the time,” Maddrey said to applause.
“So… with all due respect to you, I’m not going to stand here thinking my cops are leaving instead of making arrests. When we arrest the same people all the time, I think it proves that we are arresting.”
Maddry continued angrily: “On Tuesday, I ordered a young officer to be shot because he was exactly where we asked him to be and he was doing his job there.
“He came under fire because he was there. Sincerely, Assemblyman, that’s where our officers work,” Maddrey said to repeated applause.
The police officer in question, Officer Paul Lee, 34, survived his injuries after a 16-year-old boy wearing a black mask allegedly opened fire on an NYPD police cruiser approaching him and another unidentified masked man in a known hot spot in the Bronx . .
Dinowitz, a bail reform advocate who chairs the Codes Committee, which reviews legislation relating to the justice system, also said recent amendments to the state’s controversial 2019 bail reform law mean “recidivists can be – in many, many circumstances – now detained. Bail can be set.”
“Now, of course, many people can afford bail. People should not be misled into thinking that bail means people will sit on Rikers. [Island] because the only people who will participate in Rikers are those who have no money,” he said.
At one point in his speech, Dinowitz seemed to blame the victims of some recidivist shoplifters, saying, “For example, I’ve met with the owners in my CVS area and they’ve been harassed multiple times, and we know it.” And I asked and they didn’t necessarily take the necessary steps, even though we know it costs money and it’s not entirely fair.”
The MP also cited an article Thursday on the front page of The Post, in which the recent surge in the number of criminal cases dropped across the city was related to the demands placed on prosecutors due to changes in the rule for sharing evidence, known as “discovery.”
“I think we really need more resources … in our criminal justice system, whether it’s the police or the DA’s office, because they also lack hands in terms of enforcing some of the laws that we passed in Albany,” he said.
“Crime is higher than it was a few years ago… But we can’t do what needs to be done without resources for the police, the DA and, above all, to help people and keep them out of crime.”