New York City Mayor Eric Adams turned bail reform on its head over the weekend after a man accused of violent assault last month was released from prison.
Bail reform has divided New York Democrats throughout Adams’ tenure as mayor, with progressives supporting criminal justice reform and arguing that some people who are arrested face an unfairly high bail that doesn’t always match the crime. Others, however, argue that bail reform has resulted in dangerous criminals being released from the city’s jails back onto the streets.
Adams, a former New York Police Department (NYPD) officer, has become a vocal opponent of bail reform in his efforts to bring down crime across the city. Over the weekend, Adams took to CNN to blast the policy after a man caught on video violently assaulting another man was released from jail after posting bail.
Karim Azizi, 36, posted $7,500 bail after he was arrested last Wednesday in the Manhattan attack in early November New York Post reported. Azizi is accused of hitting a 47-year-old man facing home insecurity in the back of the head with a baseball bat after a verbal altercation. According to court documents, Azizi was charged with assault, attempted assault and criminal possession of weapons.
Prosecutors recommended Azizi bail for $40,000 and said he was a fugitive because he fled the scene. However, according to the newspaper, a Manhattan judge set his bail at the lower rate of $7,500.
Adams agreed with CNN anchor Michael Smerconish’s assessment that Azizi’s release on Saturday was “heartbreaking and wrong.”
“Every time we do our jobs as law enforcement and city managers, we see this catch-release-repeat revolving door system that’s really happening across the country,” Adams said, asking when lawmakers will support policies that ” the innocent people of this city and this country.”
“We need to stop passing laws that protect the guilty,” Adams added.
Adams previously opposed bail reform
Adams, first elected in 2021 on a platform that emphasizes public safety, has faced pressure throughout his tenure to deal with rising crime. Nearly every type of crime increased from 2020 to 2021, according to NYPD data — except for homicide, which fell 12 percent.
The mayor has taken measures including an increased police presence on subways, a crackdown on drugs and domestic insecurity, and support for barriers on platform tracks to curb crime.
However, Adams has faced backlash from New York progressives who argue that some of his policies are cruel. He was recently criticized for announcing that some mentally ill people would be forcibly hospitalized to curb crime.
Critics of bail reform have seized on other instances of violent criminals being released without bail or on bail. In March, Adams spoke out against bail reform after a man accused of smearing feces on a woman sitting on a bench was released without bail.
“This person should not be on the streets of New York and his release demonstrates the scale of the changes we need to make to keep New Yorkers safe,” Adams said at the time.
news week reached out to Adam’s office for further comments.
https://www.newsweek.com/eric-adams-slams-bail-reform-after-violent-attacker-freed-jail-1766534 Eric Adams slams bail reform after violent attacker is freed from prison