Republicans in the New York state Senate on Tuesday called on state officials to conduct a review of whether the changes to New York's bail laws are linked to the rise in violent crime over the last several weeks.
Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt, in a letter to the Office of Court Administration and the state Division of Criminal Jusitce Services, pointed to the sharp rise in shootings in New York City in 2020 compared to the previous year.
New York ended bail requirements for many criminal charges in the state, though it is not clear whether the new laws have led to a direct rise in violent crime. At the same time, shootings and violent criminal acts have increased in other cities outside of New York as well.
But police groups and local prosecutors, including law enforcement unions, have raised concerns with the impact of the changes.
“The recent surge in shootings and violent crime all across the state have confirmed our worst fears — so called criminal justice 'reforms' passed under One-Party Rule are a danger to all New Yorkers," Ortt said. "Shootings are up. Hate crimes are up. While the Governor’s recently declared state of emergency finally acknowledges what the Republican Conference has stated all along, that violence in our cities is a serious problem, it ignores the very policies and rhetoric he has embraced in the past two years: bail reform, discovery reform and a war on our police. It’s time for the Governor to acknowledge the consequences of his actions, and that begins by examining his own state data -- not ignoring or whitewashing it."