Welcome to criminal justice-reformed New York: Violent criminal free on bond shoots 7-year-old in gang shooting

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BROOKLYN, NY – A 7-year-old girl was grazed by a stray bullet in what NYPD detectives believe was a gang-related drive-by.

The girl was not the intended target. She and her mom just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, walking home from school. When the shots rang out, people scattered, including the girl and her family.

Her mother didn’t realize that her daughter was injured for roughly two hours later when the child complained of pain on her left side. Tanaisia Green, the girl’s mom called 911. She was taken to NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn where she was listed in stable condition.

Police now have two suspects in custody.

“I heard about five — pop, pop, pop. One after the other,” said one employee of the deli on the corner where that shooting took place. “Once we heard the shot, we started running. Some ran that way.  We stayed in the back until the cops came. That’s when everybody came out.”

Robert Cooper, 31, is one of the men that police arrested in the shooting.

At the time of the shots being fired from the black sedan, Cooper was free with no bond after a February arrest for allegedly beating a 39-year-old man and stealing his food on Staten Island.

Police say that he punched the victim repeatedly and stole about $45 worth food from him.

Charged with felony robbery and assault, prosecutors asked that he be held on a $3,000 cash bail. Instead, Judge Gerianne Abriano released Cooper without bail.

Now, Cooper and Jaden Baskerville are in custody for the shooting. Police have not said which of the two they believe pulled the trigger.

As reported by the New York Post:

“A Brooklyn grand jury indicted both men earlier this month, charging them with eight counts, including attempted murder, second-degree assault, second-degree possession of a weapon, and first-degree criminal use of a firearm.

Cooper was arraigned on the indictment Monday and ordered held on $25,000 cash bail or a $100,000 bond and remained behind bars at Rikers Island.”

Baskerville is being held on $500,000 bond.

The New York Post spoke with the grandmother of the wounded girl.

“‘She is doing …,’ she trailed off when asked about the girl’s mother. ‘They are just still traumatized. I just thank God that she is OK, that’s the important part. This is not a good time.'”

The deli worker spoke about the young girl being struck in the gunfire.

“It’s sad, really sad,” he said. “She didn’t deserve that; you know what I’m saying. She was just standing there waiting for the light to change and then this happened.”

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Report: Several Harris County judges released ex-convicted felons charged with firearm possession out on bond

HARRIS COUNTY, TX- According to a report from Fox26, Harris County judges are routinely granting bail to ex-convicted felons who have been charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Take for example Raymond Young and Delvin Clemons, who are both 44-years-old and have several mugshots capturing their career in criminal activity. Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers said in a statement:

“Both of them have lengthy criminal histories, both have been convicted of violent offenses.”

Records indicate that Clemons has 17 felony convictions and back in October of 2021, 232nd Criminal District Court Judge Josh Hill granted him bond for felon in possession of a weapon. Kahan said:

“A month later, he gets charged again for felon in possession of a weapon. You would have thought that would have been the end of the story. He gets out on bond again.”

Police said that in May, Clemons allegedly shot and killed Keishan Beets at an apartment complex at 270 El Dorado Blvd.

Before several counties, districts, and states began bail reform, judges were hesitant to grant bond to ex-convicted felons who were being charged with felon in possession of a weapon. Ray Hunt, Executive Director of the House Police Union, said in a statement:

“That’s absolutely true. I talked to the District Attorney in Montgomery County. He says he remembers one time when something like that happened.”

Now, it seems the judges grant almost any violent criminal bond, including some Harris County Criminal Court Judges who grant bond all the time for defendants charged with felon in possession of a weapon. Kahan said:

“Very low bonds, where it’s only going to take maybe $1,000 to get out.”

Young, a convicted sex offender has 12 convictions, including felon in possession of a weapon. On May 7th, 180th Criminal District Court Judge Desean Jones granted him a $10,000 bond for assault of a family member.

Allegedly, 14 days later, Young shot and killed 17-year-old John Smith at 1328 East 35th Street. Hunt said in a statement:

“When you’ve got people who are felons in possession of a firearm out on multiple bonds, getting arrested again, that person should get a no bond or at least a million dollar bond.”

Fox26 also reported that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents have raided a Houston bail company that is being accused of charging substantially low bonds.

FBI agents and members of the Texas Anti-Gang Task Force spent several hours at AABLE Bail Bonds at 1620 Austin Street. At the conclusion of the search, boxes and boxes of files were placed in an 18-wheeler.

The bail bond company is reportedly known for charging less than 10 percent of the bond amount and even offering payment plans, which has helped some high-profile murder cases. A official spokesperson for the FBI said in a statement:

“The FBI confirms that we are presently leading a legitimate multi-agency law enforcement operation with fellow members of Texas Anti-Gang Task Force at the 1600 block of Austin St. in Houston. Given the ongoing nature of the matter, we are not permitted to comment further.”

The bail bond company and others owned by the same family are known in the industry for bonding out high-risk offenders. Mario Garza, president of the Harris County Bail Bond Association, said in a statement:

“High risk meaning there’s usually not any collateral the co-signers are usually not creditworthy it’s less money put down there’s not a great support system with family and friends.”

The bail bond company have posted bonds for headline-grabbing criminals like 35-year-old Gerald Wayne Williams, who was able to post bond after being charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old David Castro.

The Muharib Family, who are the owners are AABLE Bail Bonds, also posted 30-year-old Deon Ledet’s bond. He had seven prior felony convictions before he shot and killed Houston Police Department Officer William “Bill” Jeffery.

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Chicagoland: Repeat felon again out on bond allegedly stalked a random victim for a gang revenge murder

May 23rd, 2022

CHICAGO, IL – A two-time felon has been accused of driving around and looking for someone to kill for the purpose of a gang revenge shooting in a city plagued with homicides.

According to a report by CWB Chicago, the suspect is Manya Chappel, 24, who allegedly drove around for 15 minutes looking for a victim to kill in the city’s Austin neighborhood earlier this year.

Chappel was already on bail for allegedly being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors recently said. Now, he is charged with first-degree murder of Demarco Strawder, the 24-year-old man that his passenger allegedly gunned down that day.

Strawder was shot in the chest and legs and was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he was pronounced dead, according to a report by Chicago Sun Times.

CWB Chicago reported that Chappel is the 19th person to be charged with killing or shooting another person while awaiting trial for another felony.

The murder took place around noon on Jan. 15. CWB Chicago reported that a man with tattoos on his face pulled his car to a stop on the city’s West Side.

Allegedly, Chappel and his passenger, who was armed with a gun, asked a passerby where they could buy “blows,” street slang for heroin. The passerby didn’t want to get involved, according to the same report:

“For 15 minutes, an array of surveillance cameras recorded those two men circling the area looking for someone to shoot to avenge the murder of a friend, prosecutors said.

“They picked Strawder.

“The passenger, who has yet to be charged, shot Strawder three times as he walked down the 1600 block of North Mayfield. Police found Strawder after responding to a ShotSpotter alert and 911 calls. Investigators found 11 shell casings on the street, prosecutors said.

“Detectives rounded up video footage from across the area and from nearby businesses that showed Chappel and the shooter in and out of the car before, during, and after the shooting, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

“Chappel’s phone pinged in concert with the gunman’s phone as they traveled together, according to Murphy. Their phones allegedly registered less than 300 feet from the murder scene when Strawder was killed.”

CWB Chicago’s report indicated that Chappel was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon in 2016 and felony resisting in 2018:

“In May 2020, Judge David Navarro allowed him to go home on a $500 bail deposit after prosecutors charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was still on bail when Strawder was killed, Murphy said.

“Prosecutors this week charged Chappel with first-degree murder.

“His defense attorney argued the passenger was the one who supposedly shot Strawder, not Chappel.

“But Judge Mary Marubio pointed to the ‘stalking of the victim’ by circling the area for 15 minutes as a key factor in the case. The extensive surveillance footage and phone GPS evidence also weighed heavily, she said.

“She then granted the state’s motion to hold Chappel without bail on the murder charge. Marubio also ordered Chappel held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the pending gun case.”

https://twitter.com/AdriEnn89329244/status/1528200832004628480

Block Club Chicago reported on May 19 that the West Side neighborhood has seen a 58 percent drop in shootings due to violence prevention programs and outreach workers:

“Shootings are down more than 15 percent citywide compared to this time last year, according to an analysis by street outreach organization Chicago CRED.

“West Side neighborhoods have seen even more dramatic improvements: Austin has had a 38 percent decrease in shootings compared to last year, and shootings in West Garfield Park have dropped by almost one-third.

“The progress is even more promising in North Lawndale, showing a nearly 57 percent drop in shootings, according to CRED data.

“The public safety improvements follow increases in state, federal and local funding for community-driven anti-violence strategies, including Gov. JB Pritzker committing $50 million this year to support violence intervention.”

According to the same report, outreach programs, such as Communities Partnering 4 Peace, CRED, UCAN and Flatlining Violence Inspires Peace, work because they address some of the circumstances that make people vulnerable to violence.

Jorge Matos, senior director of READI Chicago, an initiative of Heartland Alliance, told Block Club Chicago that READI participants are 45 times more likely to be shot than the average Chicagoan, according to the organization’s data.

Matos said that nearly all have previously been arrested, more than half have been incarcerated and at least 60 percent are housing insecure, which makes these individuals more likely to be impacted by violence:

“We combine what we know works — outreach, cognitive behavioral [therapy] and transitional employment — to help people create a viable path and opportunities for a different future.”

Matos also said that the organization’s behavioral health services “helps people slow down their thinking and respond differently to risky situations.”

Matos added:

“Not only do we help them heal and reframe their thinking, we also give them a chance to earn income and support themselves and their families, pursue skills training with real economic opportunities.”

Another organization, Flatlining Violence Inspires Peace, places outreach workers in neighborhood hot spots to organize events that promote peace.

Block Club Chicago reported:

“Research from Northwestern University’s Northwestern Neighborhood and Network Initiative shows shootings rarely happen when outreach workers are present. More than 80 percent of the hot spots targeted by Flatlining Violence Inspires Peace saw zero shootings while outreach workers were on duty, the research showed.

“Those safety improvements at hot spots are a result of the 47 non-aggression agreements negotiated by the program’s workers and more than 600 individual interventions, said Jalon Arthur, the program’s director of strategic initiatives.”

Arthur told Block Club Chicago:

“It’s about empowering men and women who are from those communities, from those blocks, to maintain peace across hot spots.”

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