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Idaho Senate panel unanimously backs Sen. Buckner-Webb’s ‘ban the box’ bill KTVB.com
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Idaho Senate panel unanimously backs Sen. Buckner-Webb’s ‘ban the box’ bill KTVB.com
According to a new report by The New York Times, federal prosecutors at the Justice Department are no longer willing to take on cases that they fear could anger Donald Trump. This came after he had William Barr intervene in the Roger Stone case which resulted in 4 career prosecutors resigning. Nobody wants to anger Trump and they won’t even enforce the law if they fear it’ll anger him, effectively making him a dictator. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.
*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
to a new report by the New York times earlier this week, career prosecutors in
the U S Department of Justice are now terrified of taking any cases that might
upset Donald Trump or that may involve friends or associates of Donald Trump.
And this happened the newer times actually spoke to prosecutors at the DOJ who
are now saying this as a result of Trump telling William Barr to go out there
and fix the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone because of William Barr
coming out and recommending this reduction in the sentence request. All four of
the prosecutors who worked on that case ended up resigning and now other
prosecutors who do have a lot of cases to handle and prosecute against Donald
Trump’s friends. They’re now telling the New York times, we don’t know if we’re
going to do it. We’re terrified of it. In essence, Donald Trump has terrified
the U S Department of Justice into submission. It’s over folks. He won that us
Department of Justice no longer works for American citizens. They no longer
work for the federal government. They work for Donald Trump. These are his
personal lawyers and it’s because these prosecutors are afraid of losing their
afraid of being retaliated against hell. They’re probably afraid of getting an
angry tweet from Donald Trump, and this is no way to live. Donald Trump has
effectively finished his metamorphosis into a fascist dictator. That’s what’s
happened here in the United States today. There is no other way to say it.
There was no other way to spin it. But when a Donald Trump controls the justice
system itself, not just the executive branch, we’re all kind of screwed. We
need these career prosecutors to go out there and actually do their job and now
they’re too afraid to do it. There are plenty of people who have been connected
to Trump, tied to Trump through the Mueller investigation, through the
impeachment hearings that broke the law. And we know they broke the law and
they have been charged with breaking the law. But now we may not have any prosecutors
left willing to take those cases. And the prosecutors who do may end up
essentially throwing the case so as not to convict one of Donald Trump’s
not how justice in the United States is supposed to work. It doesn’t matter who
you’re friends with. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. It doesn’t
matter the color of your skin. Everybody should be subjected to the same form
of justice in this country, and that’s simply not what’s happening. And Trump
has come along and made it so much worse. These are the kinds of things that I
don’t know if we recover from Donald Trump and his administration didn’t come
in and replace all of the prosecutors at the DOJ. These are people that go to
law school. Maybe they go to private practice first, maybe they become public
defenders, but then eventually go to the DOJ. They’re not appointed. They just
get jobs there.
when all the good people are gone, when all of these people who say, I don’t
see left or right, I don’t see color, I just see crime or no crime and I
prosecute. Once Donald Trump has driven them out, then his DOJ will be in
charge of hiring new people. And you’re going to get Trump loyalists. You’re
going to get pro corporate, uh, prosecutors, you’re gonna get bigoted
prosecutors, and we’re going to see a dramatic turn in the kinds of cases that
this DOJ prosecutes. They’re not gonna go after corporations. They’re not going
to go after extremist groups. They’re going to go after average everyday people
with whatever they have, because that is what Donald Trump wants them to do.
Don’t take the big cases, don’t prosecute the actual criminals. You know, the
white collar criminals. There’s plenty of other scumbags throughout this
country that you guys should be throwing in prison. And that is exactly what
they’re going to start doing. If Donald Trump gets his way.
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Friday, February 14, 2020
Many states and localities have been adopting “ban-the-box,” prohibiting employers (including private employers) from asking applicants to disclose information concerning their criminal histories prior to an initial interview or a conditional offer of employment. Currently, all New England states except Maine and New Hampshire have a ban-the-box law that is applicable to private employers. Bills that would have applied ban-the-box to private employers in both Maine and New Hampshire died in last year’s legislative sessions, but there is a good chance that similar legislation will resurface.
Importantly, the ban-the-box law concerns criminal history information requested directly from applicants (and employees under certain state law). Employers may request certain criminal history information from other sources (e.g., federal or state department of criminal justice systems) and/or through a third party vendor (e.g., consumer reporting agency), but there may be separate requirements for criminal background checks under applicable federal and/or state law.
Employers would be wise to review the relevant laws in all jurisdictions in which they do business and monitor further legislative activities on this topic. In light of that information, employers may consider whether application documents, hiring practices, and criminal history check policies need to be updated.
The “ban-the-box” laws in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont impose restrictions on the timing of criminal history inquiries: They prohibit employers from asking an applicant to disclose his or her criminal history information until a specified point in the hiring cycle (e.g., the interview stage or after a conditional offer of employment). There are certain exemptions from such prohibition (e.g., required by law not to hire an individual convicted with certain offenses). Significantly, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont impose additional restrictions on the types of questions employers may ask even after they have passed the specified point in the hiring cycle. Further, Connecticut and Massachusetts require certain disclaimers be included in certain hiring documents. (See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51i; M.G.L. ch. 151B, § 4 (9 1/2), (9); RI RSA § 28-5-7 (7); & 21 V.S.A. § 495j)
Here is a summary of the law regarding pre-employment inquiries into criminal history information in all six New England states:
Maine. Certain state government employees are protected from pre-employment criminal history inquires, but there is currently no ban-the-box law applicable to private employers. A bill proposing prohibiting all Maine employers (including private employers) from asking an applicant to disclose the applicant’s criminal history until after the applicant received a conditional offer of employment was vetoed by Governor LePage in 2018.
Massachusetts. Employers are generally prohibited from asking an applicant to furnish criminal offender record information prior to the interview. In addition, an employer generally may not ask an applicant (at any point in the application process, even after receiving a conditional offer) or a current employee, whether in writing or orally, about certain criminal information (e.g., any misdemeanor convictions that occurred more than three years ago, criminal conviction records that have been sealed or expunged, an arrest or any offenses that did not result in conviction). The law prohibits employers from taking adverse action against a prospective or current employee based on criminal history information obtained in contravention of ban-the-box. Any form used by an employer that seeks information concerning an applicant’s criminal history must include the specific statement regarding expunged and sealed records as required by the law.
New Hampshire. New Hampshire has no restrictions. A bill introduced last year that would have prohibited employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history on a job application was vetoed by Governor Sununu.
Rhode Island. Employers are generally prohibited from inquiring on any application for employment or otherwise, orally or in writing, whether the applicant has ever been arrested, charged with or convicted of any crime. The law permits employers to ask an applicant for information about his or her criminal convictions at the first interview or thereafter.
Connecticut. The Connecticut law generally prohibits employers from asking an applicant to disclose his or her criminal background information until after the interview or a conditional offer of employment. Significantly, employers are prohibited from asking an applicant at any time during the hiring process, or a current employee, about erased criminal records. Thus, the law effectively prohibits employers from relying on erased criminal records when making an adverse employment decision. Further, any form used by an employer that contains any question concerning the criminal history of the applicant must contain specific disclosure language regarding erased records.
Vermont. Employers are generally prohibited from asking an applicant to provide criminal history record information on the initial employment application form. Employers are allowed to question applicants about their prior criminal records during a job interview or once the applicant has been deemed otherwise qualified for the position. However, employers may not ask applicants to answer questions about arrests or convictions that have been expunged. Further, the law requires that a person whose criminal history record is expunged or sealed by court order be treated as if he or she has never been arrested, convicted, or sentenced for the offense. Thus, employers cannot rely on expunged or sealed records when considering an adverse employment decision.
Employers considering criminal background checks on applicants or employees should be aware that they may be subject to certain requirements under applicable state law, separate from the compliance with ban-the-box. For example, Massachusetts generally requires that an employer obtain a written consent signed by an applicant/employee prior to conducting a criminal history background check, and that employers conducting five or more criminal history background checks a year have a written criminal background check policy in place, which must meet the minimum requirements under the law.
Employers using a third-party vendor (e.g., consumer reporting agency) are generally subject to additional requirements under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as well as analogous state law. For example, under the federal FCRA, employers must make certain disclosures to applicants/employees and obtain signed written authorizations from them before requesting background checks by a third party vendor. Maine and Connecticut generally follow the federal FCRA, but Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont require state-specific disclosures in addition to the federal requirements.
Whether obtained directly from an applicant and/or obtained through a background check on the applicant, criminal history information must be considered in a non-discriminatory fashion. Under Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance, employers should make an individual assessment of a criminal offense in light of job-relatedness and business necessity, and consider all relevant factors, such as the nature and gravity of the offense or conduct; the time that has passed since the offense; and the nature of the job held or sought. Moreover, certain states (e.g., Massachusetts) require additional factors to be considered in reviewing criminal history information (e.g., the age at the time of the offense, the number of offenses, any pending charges, etc.).
Navigating through ban-the-box as well as the federal and state laws concerning criminal background checks can be complex. As initial steps, we recommend the following:
Update, if necessary, initial hiring documents (e.g., job applications) to ensure that such documents do not include a question about an applicant’s criminal history.
Consider utilizing a criminal history questionnaire (including permissible criminal history questions) that should be used after the initial interview or after a conditional offer of employment.
Train personnel involved in the hiring process on restrictions imposed by these ban-the-box laws, including permissible vs. impermissible questions.
For multistate employers, determine whether a particular locality or state they operate in has a similar ban-the-box restriction.
Take a fresh look at your current criminal background check policies and practices to ensure compliance with applicable law.
©2020 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.
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Talat Aman 11:10 pm, Feb 11, 2020
Yale’s insularity often obscures the world around us. We struggle to find reliable incentives to look beyond the depths of Bass Library, the rigid columns of a Google Calendar or — as of most recently — Silliman’s new plastic domes. The demands of our environment reinforce a reality built along Yale’s boundaries and relegate everything outside to the ether.
Unsurprisingly, our bubble discriminates against a vilified — when not outright erased — subset of the population: the justice-impacted. Generally referred to as “previously incarcerated” or “formerly convicted,” this demographic contains its own share of aspiring students and professionals. They clash with the circumstances of their own reality. Universities like Yale represent this identity with just one, broad question in their application — “the box.”
The box asks college applicants about their criminal history, forcing justice-impacted individuals to define themselves by their past entanglement with the criminal justice system. More often than not, this guarantees rejection. At Yale, we claim to be the bastion of “improving the world today and for future generations.” And yet, we fail. If we want to take steps to fulfill that promise, that begins with banning the box.
Over 70 million Americans — one-fifth of the population — have a criminal record. It only takes one incident for our laws and society to stick this label on them for the rest of their lives. From enrolling in university to finding a job, citizens who have paid their debt to society and are willing to start afresh encounter a myriad of obstacles.
According to the Brookings Institution, colleges reject applicants with convictions at a rate of 12 to 13 percentage points higher than those without. In fact, anticipating rejection on these grounds, up to 22 percent of high school graduates with minor drug convictions don’t even complete their applications. Yale does not publicize their statistics.
In contrast, justice-impacted individuals who receive an education are significantly less likely to commit another crime — for those pursuing a bachelor’s degree, recidivism plummets to 5.6 percent. For those pursuing a master’s degree, it’s zero. Furthermore, those who obtain a job have been shown to work as well as or better than counterparts without criminal records. And after a period of about four years, both groups exhibit the same likelihood to commit a crime.
But we as a society continue to excommunicate felons. We claim to believe in second chances, and yet the box perpetuates an inescapable cycle of barring justice-impacted people from redemption. When Yale puts the box on its application, it denies multitudes of potential leaders and innovators from creating the change that such a college education would allow.
As a result of a criminal justice system designed to discriminate, those who are disproportionately subjugated to this exclusion are overwhelmingly students of color. Our policies have resulted in the arrests of almost one-third of Americans by age 23. The rates for Hispanic and black men, however, rise to 44 and 49 percent, respectively. We subscribe to Yale’s diversity statement of “maintaining an inclusive community of scholars that celebrates people with a variety of backgrounds and beliefs.” It’s why we support banning the box. Justice-impacted individuals would bring an array of diverse experiences, having been closest to our malicious criminal justice system. They would be the lens to such problems plaguing our society.
For this to be achieved, though, Yale must implement a truly holistic admissions process. We already reject discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, veteran status, ethnic origin, sexual orientation and gender identity. It’s time to expand these protections to those who are justice-impacted.
By no means are we advocating for a complete disregard of one’s history in the admissions process. On the contrary, we believe that banning the box would lead to a better assessment of one’s fitness to be a Yale student. The use of the box as a means of determining one’s moral character and potential on campus is woefully inaccurate.
Instead, banning the box can and should be complemented by some nuanced, specific questions about one’s history for the purposes of ensuring campus safety. The construction of questions aimed towards this goal will enable individuals with a criminal history to have their second chance in society. Louisiana’s 2017 “Ban the Box” law, for example, removed the criminal history question from public college applications while still asking specific questions about stalking and sexual violence. This process ensures safety on campus while avoiding unnecessary obstacles for those who don’t pose a threat to others. This is a fairer and more effective system that, in the long run, will make this inescapable cycle slightly less confining.
When we accepted Yale’s offer of admission, most of us knew of the industrious-academic world we were getting into. Ultimately, our time at Yale is short, and few of us would give it up. But we must ask ourselves: need we preclude our privileges from the justice-impacted? These are tough questions for a society that has long stigmatized the justice-impacted. It doesn’t have to remain this way.
We all know people who have been tangled up in situations they regret immensely. Perhaps they’re family members, close or distant. Maybe they’re friends, old or new. That person could even be you. But what rings true among all of us is a refusal to be shackled to a life of never-ending discrimination.
Yale has the ability to right such a wrong. That means banning the box.
TALAT AMAN is a first year in Ezra Stiles College. He is a member of the Justice Impact Movement at Yale. Contact him at email@example.com .
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Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.
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Former White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden assures supporters the primary is still ‘wide open’ in lengthy phone call: report Warren: We are watching a descent into authoritarianism Collins: Trump ‘angered by impeachment’ MORE’s controversial comments calling some Mexican migrants “rapists” and criminals, saying they’re “overwhelmingly good people” looking for jobs in the United States.
Kelly, who also served as Homeland Security secretary, told an audience at Drew University on Wednesday that he disapproved of Trump’s rhetoric about migrants when he announced his presidential bid.
Trump famously declared some migrants coming into the U.S. from Mexico as “rapists” and criminals.
“In fact, they’re overwhelmingly good people … They’re not all rapists and they’re not all murderers. And it’s wrong to characterize them that way,” Kelly said, according to The Atlantic. “I disagreed with the president a number of times.”
While serving as a Cabinet member in charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Kelly was responsible for advancing Trump’s immigration plan, which included his long-promised border wall.
Kelly, however, told the crowd that he disagreed with the president’s proposal to build a barrier “from sea to shining sea.”
The former Trump official has previously condemned Trump’s proposed structure spanning the entire U.S.-Mexico border, calling it a “waste of money” in March 2019.
The Atlantic noted that Kelly made several remarks against the president during his Q&A, including praising the impeachment witness who was ousted from his job on the National Security Council.
“He did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave,” Kelly said of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. “He went and told his boss what he just heard.”
Kelly was selected as chief of staff in July 2017 to bring order to Trump’s chaotic White House, but their relationship gradually deteriorated as the president pushed back on the retired Marine Corps general’s constraints.
He left the position at the end of 2018 and was replaced by Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sanders, Buttigieg set for Granite State showdown Business groups try to avoid partisan crossfire Mick Mulvaney’s job security looks strong following impeachment MORE, the current acting chief of staff.
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Formerly incarcerated Mississippians who are entering the workforce continue to face obstacles to employment, advocates testified Tuesday at the Mississippi Capitol during a Senate Labor Committee hearing.
The hearing included a discussion of “Ban the Box,” also called “Fair Chance Hiring,” which prevents employers from requiring formerly incarcerated people to disclose felony convictions on job applications, and which Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, the chairman of the committee, supports.
Other suggested solutions included allowing people with convictions to obtain occupational licenses and eliminating the waiting period before Mississippians can apply for expungement of criminal records.
Jackie Turner, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, revealed to the committee that the State of Mississippi’s current seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 4.7%—the lowest it has ever been. Despite the state’s decreasing unemployment rate, though, Mississippi continues to experience a labor shortage.
James Robertson, the director of employability and criminal-justice reform for Empower Mississippi, attributed the state’s struggling labor pool in part to Mississippi’s incarceration rate, currently the third highest in the country. “Because of that, we have about 5,000 or 7,000 leaving our state correctional facilities every single year, with a felony conviction, coming back into our communities and being unable to find work,” he said at the Jan. 11 hearing.
Robertson pointed out that while Mississippi’s overall unemployment rate is low, unemployment rates for formerly incarcerated Mississippians is about five times higher, at 27%. Approximately 100,000 Mississippians currently have criminal records, he added. The state also has the lowest employment rate in the country for people between the ages of 25 to 54, which are considered prime ages for employment.
Federal law does not prevent employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history. Having to disclose a felony conviction on a job application not only can lead to discrimination, advocates say, but can also discourage those with convictions from even applying for a job in the first place.
At least 35 states have adopted “Ban the Box” legislation, as well as 150 cities and counties throughout the country, including Missouri, Georgia and Tennessee. It is not a blanket policy, but one whose rules and implementation vary according to where it is implemented. In some places, the policy requires employers to wait until the interview period to ask a person about their criminal record, but in others, companies may not be able to find out about a person’s criminal record until they are ready to offer him or her a job.
“Ban the Box” does not deny an employer the ability to know the criminal record of prospective employees. Rather, it aims to eliminate barriers of social stigma against people with felonies, by deferring access to the criminal records until after applicants have had a fair opportunity to present themselves and their qualifications for the role, its advocates argue.
Robertson proposed additional policies to support formerly incarcerated Mississippians seeking employment, such as lifting restrictions on their ability to obtain occupational licenses. Last year, the Mississippi Senate passed Senate Bill 2871, also called the “Fresh Start Act,” to allow people with convictions to obtain licenses for a small number of occupations. But licenses are required for more than 60 occupations in Mississippi, so Robertson urged lawmakers to consider expanding on the achievements of the 2019 bill.
Lastly, Robertson proposed eliminating the mandatory five-year waiting period before Mississippians with non-violent offenses can apply for expungement under House Bill 1352, which passed last year.
“Mississippi is more restrictive than other states,” Robertson said of the five-year requirement. “The issue we see a lot of folks encountering is that most people who are released from prison have some amount of time to serve on parole or probation, after their release, and that can be up to five years. So when you tack a five-year waiting period on the end of that, a lot of folks aren’t even eligible to apply for expungement until they’ve been in the community for a decade.”
Employers stand to benefit from taking a chance on formerly incarcerated Mississippians, some who testified argued. Employers can apply for fidelity bonds through the U.S. Department of Labor for hiring formerly incarcerated citizens, Turner said. They are also eligible for federal income-tax credits through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program, Robertson added.
At the hearing, Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman Chaplain Marvin Edwards, who also heads the Mississippi Association for Returning Citizens, emphasized the importance of supporting formerly incarcerated people in the workforce.
“One of the biggest hardships for these guys when they’re re-entering society is finding a job,” he said.
Follow City Reporter Seyma Bayram on Twitter @SeymaBayram0. Send story tips to [email protected].
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Bill would lower licensing barriers for former criminals Webster County Citizen
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‘Ban the Box’ bill introduced in committee | Northwest Lewiston Morning Tribune
The sense of security that for years has become synonymous with New York City has been marred by a rise in violent crime in recent months, prompting concern that the hard-earned gains slowly are being reversed.
A disturbed gunman ambushed a pair of police officers in the Bronx over the weekend, according to police, and one officer was shot in the chin. Hours later, police said the same man opened fire at a Bronx New York City Police precinct, striking one officer in the arm. The attacks have been defined as “assassination” attempts.
“I came from the generation of cops that took the city back. Crime was out of control. People forget how bad it was,” retired NYPD Bronx detective, Malcolm Reiman, who served for 31 years starting in the early 1980s, told Fox News. “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
Retired NYPD Bronx detective, Malcolm Reiman, in 1984.
(Courtesy of Malcolm Reiman)
So far in 2020, the city has already had nearly 30 percent more shootings compared to the same period in 2019, according to NYPD officials, with about 80 victims compared to 56 last year.
When reached for comment, an NYPD spokesperson pointed to a recent press conference that detailed the overall crime spike this year, up 16.9 percent compared to January of last year.
Data also shows that incidences of seven major crimes rose, including robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny, and grand larceny of a vehicle. Only murder and rape reported dips.
GUNMAN WHO TARGETED NYPD OFFICERS IN 2 ‘PREMEDITATED’ ATTACKS HAS VIOLENT PAST, PREVIOUS SHOOTOUT WITH COPS
For the first time in years, in 2019 New York City saw a rise in crime. Official statistics show more than 300 people were murdered, an increase of almost 8 percent compared to 2018, marking the highest numbers in three years.
The disturbing thought that New York could be on the edge of a crime epidemic has been fueled by a string of highly publicized and grisly killings — including the December stabbing death of Barnard college student Tessa Majors.
Between 2018 and 2019, robberies and shootings rose around 3 percent while major crimes jumped 1.4 percent. The number of rapes was the only category of the seven that dropped, falling about 2.5 percent from 1,805 to 1,760 between 2018 and 2019. Yet the NYPD has acknowledged that many such cases continue to occur without being reported.
Hate crimes also rose from 356 in 2018 to 428 in 2019.
New York City Police Commissioner, Dermot F. Shea, at the time, called the rise “a concern.” However, the NYPD trumpeted that the number of criminal incidences had fallen to about 95,000 — meaning more than 800 fewer victims than a year earlier. That statistic does not account for the type or severity of the crime committed, however.
Police officers walk along the street near the parade route of the New York City Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26, 2016, in New York City. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
(The Associated Press)
So what is behind the bump in violent crime?
Police officials have pointed to gang activity and the illicit drug industry as a key contributor to increasing homicides and shootings. Experts and analysts also are questioning the newly enacted bail reform legislation, pushed through by Democrats last spring.
At a press conference last month, Shea echoed that such laws – which no longer give a judge discretion to hold violent and repeat offenders in custody and sharply lower cash bail for nonviolent defendants – are primarily to blame.
New York also has in place new discovery laws, which mandate that prosecutors submit all evidence and witness/victim contact information within just 15 days of an arrest.
Earlier this month, New York’s largest police union, the Police Benevolent Association – alarmed by spiking crime numbers – asserted a “public safety emergency.” In a statement, President Patrick Lynch encouraged New Yorkers to “reject Mayor (Bill) de Blasio’s easy excuses.”
“Bail reform is not the only problem here. The double-digit increases in shootings, robberies, burglary and thefts aren’t the product of any single law or policy,” he said. “They are all the result of failed leadership and a political culture that denigrates and devalues the work police officers do.”
President Trump also has publicly blamed de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, citing their “weak leadership.”
Yet not everyone sees bail laws as the main contributor to New York’s crime levels.
“It is difficult to directly draw a comparison between the bail legislation and what is perceived as rising crime in New York — it seems that the conversation is shifting to the ‘anecdote’ style of advocacy, which can ultimately hurt positive reforms,” noted Jesse Kelley, the government affairs manager for nonprofit public policy center, R Street Institute.
Ashley Nellis, senior research analyst at the Sentencing Project, pointed out that the bail reform law only has been in effect for one month and thus “it is just too soon to tell.”
“The majority will not be found guilty of a crime,” she explained. “The impact of this incarceration and the collateral consequences that accompany incarceration are much more dangerous to public safety than the bail reform law.”
New York City police officers work the scene of a police involved shooting outside the 41st precinct Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
In response to a Fox News request for comment about the targeted officer shootings in the Bronx, a spokesperson for the mayor, Freddi Goldstein, said Monday that the mayor’s office doesn’t “want to politicize an attempt to kill our men and women.” The Union condemnation was vehemently rejected by de Blasio’s office.
However, there is more pending legislation that has critics on edge — and some criminal justice reform advocates hopeful.
State SB S2144 is an “act to amend the executive law, in relation to parole eligibility for certain inmates aged 55 or older.” Essentially, the law would make those older than 55, who had served at least 15 years behind bars, eligible for parole no matter the crime, subject to a review board.
“The number of older inmates in our prison system is rising every year even as the total inmate population is falling,” the bill introduced by NY Democratic Sen. Brad Hoylman states. “The population of state prisoners over the age of 50 has increased by 81 percent since 2000. Crimes are largely committed by young people. Older inmates who have served long sentences present the lowest risk of recidivism of any other class of inmates.”
It does not mandate release but allows for the case to be reviewed. The legislation has passed the Assembly and is awaiting the governor’s approval.
Under the tenure of Mayor Michael Bloomberg beginning in 2002, the “stop-and-frisk” policy was implemented, enabling the NYPD to stop and question anyone in public and subsequently check them for weapons or illegal substances. However, the majority targeted were black or Hispanic, and in many cases, posed no reasonable suspicion of crimes.
“There had been some abuse with the stop-and-frisk method,” acknowledged Erik Pistek, a former NYPD detective who worked under [former Police Commissioner William] Bratton before retiring in 2000. “[But] since the curtailment of [this], in addition to bail reform, in my opinion, crime is spiking, and the figures are reflecting that. The curtailment of the question-and-frisk is handcuffing the cops. Politicians give the appearance that they care more about criminals than the cops,” Pistek said.
The crest on the jacket of a New York City Police Officer while on patrol.
One long-term retired NYPD official, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the subject, said that the problem was a push to fulfill “quotas,” which resulted in inexperienced police targeting individuals to meet certain requirements.
De Blasio, who replaced Bloomberg in 2014, pledged to reform the controversial policy.
New York City once held the not-so-coveted hallmark as one of the world’s most violent and crime-beleaguered cities. The narrative surrounding who and what “saved” New York City from being one of the world’s most dangerous cities remains legendary.
Throughout the 1980s and into the early 90s, New York City was defined as a type of hell on earth – homicides, mugging, carjackings, break-ins and drug deals – all routine to daily life.
Several retired NYPD officers interviewed by Fox News cited the city’s mammoth crack epidemic, which peaked around 1995, as a major culprit.
“The NYPD was setting up Special Anti-Crack Units, which became Tactical Narcotics Teams,” Pistek continued. “We cleaned up Times Square from the sex shops and theaters, and police started targeting quality-of-life type crimes such as prostitution. The Lower East Side of Manhattan had a targeted operation known as Operation Pressure Point, which was a war on drugs at the street level.”
Crime rates dropped dramatically during the latter part of the 1990s, with violent crime descending over 56 percent and property crimes dipping about 65 percent. Many credit the dive to then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani – who became mayor in 1994 – with zero tolerance, get-tough policies.
PAKISTAN WORKS TO CLEAN UP KARACHI, ONCE WORLD’S ‘ MOST DANGEROUS CITY’
Moreover, the size of the NYPD increased by about 35 percent during the 1990s. Many analysts also point to Boston cop William Bratton’s appointment to run New York’s transit police in 1990, then to lead the NYPD from 1994 to 1996 as the catalyst for the city’s substantial decline in crime.
“You would walk down the subway steps every day, and all you could smell was urine; it was littered with muggers and mentally-ill people everywhere,” Reiman said. “Subways were truly terrifying places.”
“Those protesting today,” Reiman stressed, referring to ongoing protests pushing for free service, “don’t know what it was like for everyone back then.”
In 2018, Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Portsmouth, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
In addition to cleaning up transit, Bratton put in place “Broken Windows,” which involved sharp clampdowns on even minor infringements such as graffiti and subway fare violations. “Broken Windows” was built on the theory that low-level offenses foster a climate that, if unchecked, paves the way to more severe problems.
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Giuliani furthermore ordered a crackdown on organized crime, setting sights on known perpetrators such as the Gambino family. Bratton returned under de Blasio in 2014, and kept a tight grip on low crime numbers, before stepping down two years later.
“Back then, we were able to do our jobs unhindered. Cops earned respect on the streets, and the bad guys knew that we were not afraid to do our jobs, and crime began dropping to record lows as a result,” noted retired NYPD crime scene investigator, Joe Thompson. “There is no question that crime is rising and will continue to rise.”
But Commissioner Shea remains optimistic.
“I’m so positive because I know the work of the men and women of this department and what they are capable of,” he added at the press conference earlier this month. “Challenges are not something new.”
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