Law & the Courts

Police Chief: Arrested Looters in NYC Are Immediately Released Because of Bail-Reform Law

NYPD officers detain a protester who was involved in the looting of a store in Manhattan, N.Y., June 2, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

Most of the looters and rioters arrested by the NYPD over the past several days are immediately released as a direct result of New York’s new bail-reform law, New York City police chief Terrence Monahan told the New York Post on Tuesday.

While the city police made over 650 arrests on Monday night alone, Monahan said that “just about all of them” will be released without bail.

“We had some arrests in Brooklyn where they had guns, [and] hopefully [Brooklyn district attorney] Eric Gonzalez will keep them in, [but] I can’t guarantee that’ll happen,” Monahan said. “But when it comes to a burglary [at] a commercial store, which is looting, they’re back out. . . . Because of bail reform, you’re back out on the street the next day. You cannot be held on any sort of bail. I spoke to [Manhattan district attorney] Cy Vance about that, he told me there’s nothing he can do.”

New York’s bail-reform law, which went into effect earlier this year, eliminates the bail requirement for suspects accused of most misdemeanors, including burglary and stalking. Suspects in violent felonies are still required to post bail. Even before the law was adopted, New York law forbade judges from considering many suspects’ potential danger to the community before setting bail.

New York City has seen widespread rioting and looting during demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed during a confrontation with white police officers in Minneapolis, Minn. The NYPD has stated that organized groups of “anarchists” are targeting stores in wealthy neighborhoods, especially in lower and midtown Manhattan. On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo slammed both the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio for their handling of the riots.

“The police in New York City were not effective at doing their job last night. Period,” Cuomo told reporters. He also floated the idea of “displacing” de Blasio, but immediately retracted the suggestion, saying it would create a “chaotic situation in the midst of an already chaotic situation, that doesn’t make sense.”

Chief Monahan told the Post that he was “extremely outraged” by Cuomo’s remarks.

“I’m watching my men and women out there dealing with stuff that no cop should ever have to deal with, bricks, bottles, rocks, hit in the face with bottles and continuing to go forward to make an arrest,” Monahan said. “For a governor to be sitting in his office saying that we’re not doing a good job — I’m outraged.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


The Latest