NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea went on television earlier this week to criticize recent bail reforms, asserting a suspect in a purse snatching case should have been behind bars. The Commissioner was incorrect. Jeffrey Evans, the man Shea accused of the crime, was incarcerated on Rikers at the time of the incident, as reported by the New York Post.
“This is another failed attempt by Commissioner Shea to manufacture a causal relationship between recently enacted bail laws and ‘public save’ where none exists,” said Luis Martinez, an attorney with The Legal Ais Society who represents Mr. Evans.
“Instead of admitting that it is his police force with its bloated personnel and budget that is failing New Yorkers, Shea, predictably, is looking for a scapegoat,” he continued. “The fearmongering and blatant lies peddled by Commissioner Shea and others in law enforcement to undermine the bail reforms, laws that are keeping New Yorkers safe from the source of Rikers Island, must come to an end.”
The Legal Aid Society has continued to call on judges and district attorneys to stop requesting and setting bail, even when they have the option to do so. Bail practices are a critical component in keeping New Yorkers out of the humanitarian crisis that is currently unfolding in City jails. At least twelve people have died in Department of Correction custody this year already this year.
Last Updated: 14 October 2021
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