Mayor Eric Adams is blaming the tragic death of an NYPD officer on a breakdown in the criminal justice system.

He wants state lawmakers to consider changes to New York’s penal code and mental health laws — even as politicians are working on a budget deal that is on track to be late.

“You do an analysis of all of these reports that you're doing and you're going to keep coming up with the same three items: severe mental health, random act of violence, recidivism, over and over again,” Adams said during a press conference Tuesday at City Hall.

What You Need To Know

  • Mayor Eric Adams wants state lawmakers to analyze how current laws deal with repeat offenders
  • Adams wants to strengthen how courts order outpatient treatment for people struggling with their mental health
  • He is advocating for changes to be made to Kendra’s Law, which allows state courts to order people with mental health issues into treatment
  • Gov. Kathy Hochul officially extended the April 1 budget deadline to April 4 on Wednesday

NYPD officer Jonathan Diller was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Queens on Monday. The mayor is now turning up the heat on Gov. Kathy Hochul and state leaders, claiming New York’s penal code is ineffective.

“You know, the term bail has become a popular term, but it is more than just bail. We have to properly fund discovery rules,” Adams said.

On Wednesday, Hochul officially extended the April 1 budget deadline to April 4.

“For weeks, I have been negotiating with the legislature to craft a budget that makes record investments for New Yorkers while putting the state on a fiscally stable path into the future. While I believe a final agreement is within reach, I recognize many New Yorkers would like to spend the holiday weekend with family and loved ones,” Hochul said in a statement.

Some elected officials say they need more time to consider additional criminal justice changes.

“I think we have to do a hard look at everything — how we invest in and make sure crimes don’t happen in the first place and how we invest and make sure they don't happen again,” said state Assemblyman Brian Cunningham, a Brooklyn Democrat.

Republican Assemblyman Michael Durso represents the district where Diller’s family lives.

“I agree with the mayor that we need to look into recidivism, but we don't need a study on it. The study is right there in the paper every day, whether it's someone getting pushed on the subway tracks, whether it's an officer being killed,” Durso told NY1.

Last year, Hochul and the legislature rolled back parts of the 2019 bail reform law by expanding the jurisdiction of a judge over repeat offenders.

The governor and mayor agree, however, that more mental health support is needed.

Hochul’s budget plans include opening new psychiatric beds and adding funding for new mental health courts.

She separately approved adding 1,000 law enforcement members, including members of the New York Army National Guard, to patrol the subway system after a conductor was slashed in the throat last month.

Hochul also proposed a three-year transit ban on people with a criminal background and wants to expand mental health response teams and crisis intervention teams.

“Unfortunately, not everybody can be rehabilitated. And so it makes us reevaluate our laws and certainly how we treat certain individuals, whether it be mental health issues or whether it be a crime that they commit,” said state Sen. Joe Addabbo, a Queens Democrat.

Adams said he wants to strengthen how courts order outpatient treatment for people struggling with their mental health who are deemed a danger to themselves and others.

This is known as Kendra's Law, which became effective in 1999 and is reviewed periodically by the legislature for continuation.

The law was named after Kendra Webdale, who was pushed onto subway tracks and killed by a man with a history of mental illness. Adams wanted to make changes to the law in 2022 when the city released its new subway safety plan, calling on the state government to improve mental health care in New York.

“Firstly, we clarify the standard by which someone can be held involuntarily for treatment. And it would also require hospital facilities to screen someone for the opportunity to participate in Kendra’s Law program when they’re discharged,” state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, a Queens Democrat, told NY1.

Braunstein introduced a bill last year that would change the current law’s standards.

Although the legislation still needs a companion sponsor in the state Senate, it is backed by City Hall.

“There's no consideration sometimes of their previous behavior. And this will add those factors into the standard by which someone else could be held involuntarily,” Braunstein said.

But Braunstein admitted that it’s an uphill battle convincing colleagues to sign on to the measure.

“When you're mandating medical treatment, it is somewhat controversial. And we're working to make my colleagues understand that this is something that's compassionate and necessary,” Braunstein said.

Adams administration officials told NY1 they are interested in working on the legislation outside of state budget negotiations.