New NYPD Commissioner slams far-left Manhattan DA’s soft-on-crime policies, says puts cops in danger

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – Newly appointed New York Police Department Commissioner Keechant Sewell sent an email to the NYPD cops under her watch critiquing the progressive policies recently announced by new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Bragg issued a memo to his prosecutors on Monday, January 3, 2022, directing them to downgrade certain felony charges and avoid incarceration in many instances, and not to ask for bail “except in the most serious cases.”

Instead, according to the New York Post, prosecutors were instructed to take into account the “impacts of incarceration,” which included “whether it really does increase public safety, potential future barriers to convicts involving housing and employment, the financial cost of prison and the racial disparities over who gets time.”

In fact, Bragg appears to have his prosecutors acting more like social workers than prosecuting attorneys.  He told them:

“ADAs should use their judgment and experience to evaluate the person arrested, and identify people: who suffer from mental illness; who are unhoused; who commit crimes of poverty; or who suffer from substance use disorders….

“Charges should be brought consistent with the goal of providing services to such individuals, and leverage during plea negotiations should not be a factor in this decision.”

Furthermore, Bragg’s directive also noted:

“Armed robbers who use guns or other deadly weapons to stick up stores and other businesses will be prosecuted only for petty larceny, a misdemeanor, provided no victims were seriously injured and there’s no ‘genuine risk of physical harm’ to anyone. 

“Armed robbery, a class B felony, would typically be punishable by a maximum of 25 years in prison, while petty larceny subjects offenders to up to 364 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.”

As for drug crimes:

“Drug dealers believed to be “acting as a low-level agent of a seller” will be prosecuted only for misdemeanor possession. 

“Also, suspected dealers will only be prosecuted on felony charges if they’re also accused of more serious crimes or are actually caught in the act of selling drugs.”

Commissioner Sewell, the first woman to hold that position in the history of the NYPD, took exception to Bragg’s instructions and responded in an email to all uniformed members of the NYPD.

In that email, obtained by the New York Post, Sewell noted:

“I have studied these policies and I am very concerned about the implications to your safety as police officers, the safety of the public and justice for the victims.”

She continued:

“I am making my concerns known to the Manhattan District Attorney and hope to have frank and productive discussions to try and reach more common ground.”

Regarding the safety and welfare of the New York public, Sewell noted:

“The new charging policies of the Manhattan District Attorney effectively decriminalizes much of the conduct that New Yorkers are asking the police to address.”

One specific item that Sewell mentioned in her email that she had already discussed with Bragg was his “refusal to prosecute resisting arrest charges unless they are part of a larger, felony case.”

That tactic, she wrote: 

“will invite violence against police officers and will have deleterious effects on our relationship with the communities we protect.”

Sewell also took on the downgrading of certain felonies to misdemeanors.  The Post reports that she stated that classifying robberies at gunpoint as misdemeanors “endangers cops and is bad for business owners.”

She added:

“Commercial establishments have endured much during this pandemic and city government should do whatever it can to ensure they participate and thrive in the City’s ongoing recovery effort.”

Sewell also argued that Bragg’s downgrading of charges for drug dealers would lead to more gun violence as dealers spar over territory, and “will invite more open-air drug markets and drug use in Manhattan.”

Re-fund the police

The Commissioner also raised concerns over the lack of pretrial detention, which she indicated could lead to more violence.  She wrote:

“In addition to gun possession, I am concerned that pretrial incarceration will no longer be sought for charges such as terrorism, criminal sale of a firearm, gun-point robberies … and other serious violent felonies that put the safety of the public and the police officers who have sworn to protect and serve at great risk.”

Regarding criminal justice reform, Sewell wrote that she believes in it, but she “argued that the NYPD has already been helping to reduce incarceration and arrests by pursuing ‘community based solutions.’”

She added:

“I believe in reform that make sense when applied collaboratively.… 

“In that same vein, I am concerned about sweeping edicts that seem to remove discretion, not just from police officers, but also from Assistant District Attorneys regarding what crimes to prosecute and how to charge them.”

While instructing her officers “to do your jobs based on your training, direction by supervisors and enforce the law,” Sewell promised to speak more with Bragg “to seek a better balance between officer safety, public safety and reform.”

Commissioner Sewell is not the only one who has reacted with concerns over DA Bragg’s progressive, soft-on-crime policies.

Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch told the New York Post:

“Police officers don’t want to be sent out to enforce laws that the district attorneys won’t prosecute.”

He added:

“And there are already too many people who believe that they can commit crimes, resist arrest, interfere with police officers and face zero consequences.”

A “high-ranking” unidentified police supervisor told the Post:

“The identical platform has not worked out in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

“It will lead to more young lives lost to gang violence and innocent people being hurt both physically and emotionally.”

Paul DiGiacomo, head of the NYPD Detectives’ Endowment Association, said in a statement:

“Bragg gives criminals the roadmap to freedom from prosecution and control of our streets.”

He continued:

“In Bragg’s Manhattan, you can resist arrest, deal drugs, obstruct arrests, and even carry a gun and get away with it.”

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‘I’m grateful for bail reform’: Career criminal keeps getting released in police-defunded NYC

Originally published January 8, 2022

NEW YORK, NY- According to a report from The New York Post, a career criminal in connection with a slew of burglaries across Manhattan and Brooklyn, has been set free to keep committing crimes thanks to what he calls the state’s “great” bail reform laws.

In a phone interview with The Post on Friday, January 7th, 58-year-old Charles Wold said in a statement:

“I’m grateful for [bail reform] because I’m too old to go to jail, I’m way too old, I can’t do it.”

Wold, who has had a substance use disorder for years, has been accused of burglarizing seven different businesses in Brooklyn alone, plus another three in Manhattan all in the course of just three months.

However, each time he was arrested by NYPD, he was subsequently released because of the state’s controversial bail reform laws. While at his mother’s house, Wold told The Post that freedom “feels good,” adding:

“Rikers Island is not the key, you know what I’m saying? I’ve been in jail all my life, I can do that standing on my head, it’s not teaching me anything. I can get more drugs in there than I can out here. Hopefully, the DA will see that I did not do all these crimes that they are accusing me of and they will get dismissed.”

New NYPD Commissioner slams far-left Manhattan DA’s soft-on-crime policies, says puts cops in danger

According to police and court records, Wold, who has 32 prior arrests mostly from burglary and theft dating back to 1983, including 11 from 2021 alone, was arrested on November 24, 2021 after police stated he broke into two Manhattan businesses and stole from the cash registers. 

During his arraignment a day later, a judge released Wold because the felony burglary charges were not eligible for cash bail and within three days of being back on the streets, he was allegedly back to committing crimes.

Prosecutors stated that he was caught on surveillance footage on November 28, 2021 breaking into the Hipster Deli Grocery in Park Slope where he stole a cash register. Then, over the nine days after that, he allegedly hit another four businesses. The deli’s owner, Hazim Annisafee, said:

“It’s a headache, then the customers come in the next day, we don’t have money, we don’t have machine.”

Annisafee said that he lost between $400 and $600 from the initial burglary and the cost to fix the door and cash register cost him another $1,400. 

Court documents show that on December 1, 2021, Wold is accused of stealing five electric scooters, a bike, and two Macbook Airs from Fridge No More in Gowanus and then on December 5, 2021, he is being accused of breaking into Artisan Barber Shop in Park Slope and stealing their cash register. 

Rron Dulatahu, a barber and manager at the shop, said in a statement:

“The guy keeps going in and out, I think that’s wrong … They should give him time, leave him more in the jail so he understands more maybe. We’re frustrated because it could happen again and it keeps happening in this neighborhood. It’s not safe.”

Wold admitted to The Post that he has committed some burglaries, but not all that he is accused of doing. He added:

“I might’ve did one or two of ’em, but that was in the beginning of the summer. I didn’t do all of them. Whoever’s doing it has glasses and a bald head and he looks just like me.”

Wold then pointed to his struggles with opioid abuse and his many troubles with the law. He said that he is trying to get into an inpatient rehabilitation program so he can clean up his life. He added:

“People need to understand what addiction is. I don’t want to do crime. I don’t want to hurt people. I don’t want to steal from people. I really feel really, really bad about my situation and some of the people I have hurt … If I did it, I apologize.”

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It’s happening: New York’s “bail reform” leads to spate of violent crimes by repeat offenders in NYC

December 29th, 2021

The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the author, a retired police chief and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

NEW YORK CITY- Someday when 2021 gets a title of “Year of” something…it likely will be along the lines of the “Year of the Criminal.”

In major cities across the U.S. such as LA, Chicago, and New York, that is a pretty accurate description of 2021. Let’s put our focus on the Big Apple, New York City.

The “City That Never Sleeps” couldn’t sleep this year, what with crime running rampant, courtesy of a combination of cowardly judges, liberal bail reform laws passed by far-left do-gooders in Albany, and a police department weary of budget cuts, retirements and officers outright quitting.

Not to mention  being micro-managed on a daily basis by the outgoing communist-sympathizing mayor, Bill de Blasio.

Perhaps nothing had the most obvious effect on crime in New York than the absurd bail-reform laws passed in 2019, which basically removed all discretion from judges in setting bail on pretty much all misdemeanors and a good chunk of so-called non-violent felonies, the New York Post reports.

To make matters worse, some far-left lunatic judges took it a step further, cutting defendants loose in far more serious cases, including violent felonies. How about some examples?

In October, 21-year-old college student Saiko Koma was shot in the head in what is believed to be a case of mistaken identity by a reputed gang member, 17-year-old Steven Mendez, the Post reported.

So bad a guy is Mendez that he was once arrested for pulling a gun on his own mother. In 2020, Mendez was arrested in connection with a violent armed robbery. Instead, he was out on the street when he gunned down Koma in a botched gang hit.

Koma’s despondent mother told the Post, “The judge let him go, but I’m not letting [it] go. My son will get justice. This is crazy.”

Koma’s father slammed the judge who cut Mendez loose.

“What is wrong with this judge? If this was the judge’s son, or his nephew or a relative, he would not let him go. The city, the mayor. If this was his kid, they would not let him go. They do not care about us.”

Mendez had been arrested for first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, and felony gun possession charges in connection with the July 17, 2020, armed robbery in The Bronx.

Mendez was prosecuted as a “youthful offender” and in May, Supreme Court Justice Denis Boyle granted him probation over prosecutors’ objections, who wanted him sent to prison.

But judges get absolute immunity and cannot be sued, unlike police officers. Mendez could have been locked up for four years for the robbery. Instead, he was free to kill an innocent college student.

How about another frequent flyer? Isaac Rodriguez, a serial shoplifter has been arrested 50 times…this year, yet he keeps getting released. Twenty-two years old, he currently has 23 open cases In Queens, all part of a rap sheet a mile long consisting of 74 arrests since 2015, court records show.

According to authorities, Rodriguez likes him some Walgreens, having hit one in Jackson Heights 37 times, but has hit a number of other retailers where he steals everything from baby formula to Victoria’s Secret merchandise.

Under New York’s “get out of jail free” criminal justice system, the larceny and stolen property charges don’t qualify for bail.

“I don’t know how these [cases] have been handled, but clearly there has been no consequence,” according to one police source who spoke to the Post.

It took an assault in a June 7 gang attack on a 39-year-old man that Rodriguez was finally locked up…for now. He’s currently being held at Riker’s Island on $10,000 bail.

How about a burglar? That’s Juan DelValle, a serial burglar who was so good at avoiding jail time that NYPD cops started calling him “Teflon.”

He’s “only” been arrested 30 times, and has five open cases in Manhattan and Brooklyn, however that didn’t stop a judge from releasing him without bail on August 15 on the most recent prior burglary case. Prosecutors had asked for a $10,000 bail. Sorry, no dice…not in New York.

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

While on the lam, DelValle was being sought in connection with more than a dozen other burglaries after police found 20 laptops, a stolen 9mm handgun and illegal drugs at his apartment in a taxpayer-funded Brooklyn public housing project.

NYPD officers finally picked up DelValle at the end of August on felony burglary charges, and he is currently locked up, being held on $10,000 bail, according to court records.

Child molester? New York’s got some of them too and once again a judge let one loose on the streets after he was pinched on a burglary case. After being freed, the 31-year-old homeless man, Raymond Wilson broke into a 10-year-old girl’s bedroom this past June and “only” rubbed his genitals on her.

Wilson, another frequent flyer but a rookie compared to some of the others mentioned, had been arrested on burglary charges at least a dozen times.

“The victim felt something slimy on her feet and noticed that the defendant was rubbing his penis on her toes,” said Manhattan prosecutor Meghan McNulty in court.

“The victim screamed for her parents but no one was home except her younger sister, who was sleeping in another room,” McNulty said.

Only one month before that incident, Wilson was arrested and charged with third-degree burglary in a separate case, but due to New York’s woke bail policies, he had to be released because judges aren’t permitted to set bail on a third-degree burglary crime.

Detectives were able to track Wilson through DNA obtained from a water bottle he left behind; he is currently being held on $500,000 bail at Rikers Island on the sex abuse charges.

Back to a gangbanger, this time Alberto Ramirez. Bronx Judge Denis Boyle lowered his bail on a gun case, and he promptly then used it to kill a father of two.

We’ve raised this question before for the anti-gun nuts who think legislating against legal gun owners will prevent crime. If you’re not going to enforce the damn laws already on the books, what is the point of more laws? Other than to punish law-abiding gun owners?

Oh by the way, Boyle was the same judge who had cut Mendez loose, as a point of information. Boyle freed Ramirez, 17, on March 2, lowering his bail from $75,000 to $10,000 despite objections from Bronx prosecutors.

On May 16, according to prosecutors, Ramirez decided to fire randomly into a crowd on a rival gang’s turf, with one of his bullets striking and killing 34-year-old Eric Velasquez, an innocent bystander.

One anonymous police source told the Post, “How many bites of the apple does someone get before someone gets killed?”

Ramirez was arrested on June 7, and is still currently being held without bail on murder, manslaughter, and weapons charges.

How about someone who shoves a NYPD cop onto subway tracks? Ricardo Hernandez did that on April 17, shoving an Asian NYPD officer onto tracks in Queens, leading to him being charged with three hate crimes. So, he was clearly locked up right? Not so much.

“My hands are tied because under the new bail rules, I have absolutely no authority or power to set bail on this defendant for this alleged offense,” said Queens Supreme Court Justice Louis Nock at Hernandez’s arraignment.

Hernandez, 32, had at least a dozen arrests on his record, however shoving an NYPD officer onto subway tracks is apparently not worthy of cash bail.

Hernandez walked up to the officer, who was undercover on the N train platform in Dutch Kills and said, “I will fuck you up. This is my house.”

The officer was not seriously hurt, but that’s beside the point…he could have been. Hernandez later pleaded guilty to a violation in the case, which was then sealed according to a spokeswoman for the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Even the New York Post and Fox News fell victim to the state’s bogus bail laws on Dec. 8, when the All-American Christmas Tree was set afire by a serial criminal, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

Of course, arson doesn’t warrant a cash bail, so the suspect, Craig Tamanaha was cut loose without bail. He also has a lengthy rap sheet. The Post and Fox are both owned by News Corp.

The state’s bail reform laws have had serious negative consequences, not only in New York City but across the entire state.

While incoming de Blasio replacement Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer has complained about the bail measures, he’s the mayor of New York, with little sway on a statewide basis.

Moreover, Gov. Kathy Hochul, who took over when Andrew Cuomo resigned, appears to be an even more committed leftist than Cuomo was. So it is not likely the Big Apple will get any help from Albany.

In fact, the Post reached out to state lawmakers as well as Hochul this past week, and neither is interested in discussing the issue.

As expected, state court officials defend judges’ “discretion” when setting bail, although in many cases judges have no discretion whatsoever.

“Judges are unique in the criminal justice system, particularly during arraignments, in that with limited information they exercise their discretion in case after case while having to decide what is fair and equitable both for the defendant and society, which at times can seem to be at cross purposes,” said Lucian Chalfen, court spokesman in an email to the Post.

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