New York City councilman: President should revoke benefits from suspected looters

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NEW YORK, NY – A New York City Councilman has a suggestion for President Trump – pull some of the benefits looters have gotten during the coronavirus.

New York City Councilman Joseph “Joe” Borelli (R-South Shore) says he recently had a conversation with President Trump, where he pushed for more strict “punitive measures” to stop looters from ravaging the city.

The conversation was reported by SI Live.

He suggested that President Donald Trump should revoke benefits given out during the coronavirus to anyo f the suspect looters who were arrested across America after the death of George Floyd.

“Witnessing looters emptying Apple stores and exiting the store only to be violently assaulted and robbed by other criminals has shaken the confidence of everyday New Yorkers who are afraid to travel to work, hospitals, and shop for necessities,” Borelli said.

He dove into the specifics.

He suggested President Trump “revoke” the $600 federal supplemental unemployment insurance benefit for rioters who have been arrested for looting.

“It is unfair and unacceptable that people who are furloughed from retail stores are receiving the same supplemental benefit as those who are smashing and looting retail stores, and I hope this can be addressed immediately,” he said.

As Law Enforcement Today reported yesterday, the 400 looters that have been arrested in New York City this week will reportedly be released thanks to the New York state legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “bail reform” policy that eliminated bail for so-called “non-violent” crimes, including felonies.

New York, which has seen in the neighborhood of a week straight of riots, had officers stabbed, shot and run over, and much of its business district destroyed will cut loose nearly all of those arrested for destroying the city.

Businesses, already reeling from three months of being locked down by Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s draconian lockdown measures, received a double dose this week as businesses were just getting to the point of being allowed to open back up, if even on a limited basis.

The New York Times said that in excess of 400 individuals had been arrested for looting commercial businesses in the city. The times noted that almost all of them will be back on the streets, some before the ink was even dry on their arrest reports.

The “get out of jail free” law, which took effect on January 1, eliminated bail for a large number of what were called non-violent crimes, although clearly there are violent crimes included in the list.

Among those included are suspects charged with second-degree manslaughter, aggravated vehicular assault, third-degree assault, promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, criminally negligent homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide and an additional 100 more crimes.

New York City Chief of Department Terrance Monahan said “just about all” of the looters arrested will be released without bail, according to Fox News.

Fox said that frustrated police officials across the entire state of New York are saying that the lax bail laws are emboldening criminals, which they say gives criminals a green light to commit crimes because they know there will not be consequences.

According to Louis Turco, the head of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association said the violence in New York is directly related to the new bail reform law.

“This has been put in motion by our politicians that have allowed the criminal element to feel as if there’s no consequences for any crime that you do and now you’ve seen this coming out,” Turco told The Washington Post.

“Now they go home and tell all their friends, ‘Listen, I got out the next day and nothing’s going to happen to me.’”

On Fox News this past Wednesday, former NYPD Detective Oscar Odom said that it is his belief that “99.9 percent” of those arrested and subsequently released will go right back to looting, or already had.

For those arrested in New York City, they are likely to be charged with 3rd degree burglary of a commercial building, which is a Class D felony not subject to bail, therefore they are back out on the streets.

New York City isn’t the only city in New York dealing with ridiculous bail laws. In Albany, a 26-year-old man smashed a $2,000 door and looted a hotel Monday night, after being released from the county jail a week earlier even though he had pending charges from prior arrests.

The suspect, Lucas J. Kaplan stole a badge, a credit card, cash and other items from the cars of jail employees on his way out of lockup.

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The law was passed last year which significantly restricted the ability of judges to set bail to only more serious crimes, however as the list we showed earlier says, a lot of more serious crimes seemed to have slipped through the cracks.

In the neighborhood of 90 percent of the state’s arrests leave jail as soon as they are processed.

The law also applied retroactively, where those arrested prior to the effective date were also released from jail. Many of those arrested and released reoffended within days, some within hours. Others reoffended several times within a matter of days.

In addition to the no bail, judges are no longer allowed to take the severity of an offense into account, nor the possible threat to the community they pose.

All that can be considered is whether the defendant is a flight risk and whether they are likely to make future court appearances. With that said, numerous criminals have been released despite violating probation or parole.

Even if a defendant doesn’t show up in court, judges are not permitted to issue bench warrants seeking their rearrest. The judge is required to give a 48-hour period for the defendant to show up in court before issuing a warrant.

Fox reported that in the first three months of the law, the population in New York jails had dropped significantly. Taken together with the Coronavirus Prison Break, the number of people locked up in New York jails has dropped precipitously.

Shortly before and after the law took effect, there was a spike of anti-Semitic crimes in and around New York City.

One woman named Tiffany Harris was arrested after she slapped three Orthodox Jewish women in December, while using anti-Semitic language during the incident.

She was arrested and released without bail. Less than 24 hours later, she was arrested again in connection with a second assault. She was again released. The third time was a charm and she was finally put in a psychiatric hospital after missing an appointment with a social worker.

The New York City Police Department released a report in March which showed that crime had jumped 22.5% year over year from 2019. Police officials attributed the spike to the criminal justice reforms which they said was too soft on offenders.

During the first two months of 2020, 428 people who had previously been arrested then went on to commit 846 new crimes, police department statistics showed.

Fox noted the report said, “Thirty-five percent of the new crimes were for arrests in seven major crime categories—murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny, and grand larceny auto—that is nearly triple the amount of those crimes committed in the same 58 days in 2019,” the report claimed.

After numerous complaints from police and other law enforcement officials, the law was modified somewhat to give judges more discretion, however it will not go into effect until July 1.

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