With Cashless Bail, New York Is Choosing Criminals Over Its Citizens’ Safety, House Passed Bill Would Do the Same | Congressman Lee Zeldin

With Cashless Bail, New York Is Choosing Criminals Over Its Citizens’ Safety, House Passed Bill Would Do the Same

October 12, 2020
Press Release
Op-ed by Congressman Lee Zeldin

It was John Adams who said, “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people.” Unfortunately, as we witnessed US cities deteriorate into lawlessness, the erosion of public safety in New York was particularly striking. 

Last year, New York State rushed to impose a dangerous cashless bail law, a law Joe Biden is promising to impose nationwide. This law requires the immediate release of many types of criminals without cash bail. In New York, under this newly enacted law, in varying degrees, criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, assault, burglary and stalking are just a few of the many crimes in which the accused person is now eligible for immediate release without cash bail.

Too many New Yorkers have already witnessed the ramifications of this dangerous law first-hand.

A serial bank robber in New York City was arrested after allegedly robbing four banks, but because of the state’s new cashless bail law he was set free. Within five hours of his release, he was reported to have struck again, robbing banks in Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

A man charged with mugging an 83-year-old woman in Queens with reportedly at least 14 prior arrests, was set free under the new law. 

A man attempted to attack a woman in a subway bathroom. As it turns out, he was released from jail two weeks prior under the cashless bail law after being arrested for burglary.

Cries of New Yorkers to repeal the law have fallen on deaf ears, and now with New York City Democrats bowing to the radical calls to defund the police, New York is in the eye of a “perfect storm” of criminality.

Shootings are up 166%, murders rose by 34%, and burglaries increased 22% in New York City as of August. This summer, in one weekend alone, there were 51 people shot in New York City. 

Also this summer, we saw police officers violently attacked on the Brooklyn Bridge. Three people were arrested and charged with assaulting the police officers, but thanks to the groundwork of lawlessness New York has laid, not surprisingly at least one of those charged with assaulting a police officer was released without bail. 

The stories on the ground are almost unbelievable and the statistics are shocking, but these aren’t just numbers in a database. These are real victims with real families being torn apart on the streets of New York thanks to feckless leadership.

What’s even more shocking is that House Democrats are pushing to expand this flawed policy nationwide. Just in the last few weeks and months, they’ve voted in favor of nationwide expansion of cashless bail twice, including a nationwide mass prison release, including violent criminals. Congress must learn the lessons that New York learned the hard way and immediately abandon this push for cashless bail nationally. 

It’s long past due for our leaders to stand up to the mob and give police and judges the support and tools they need. 

Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) represents New York’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.