NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell calls for an end to bail reform laws as NYC crimes soar

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell calls for an end to bail reform laws as NYC crimes soar 2
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New York City’s top cop on Sunday called for an end to the woke bail reform laws that allow criminals who commit minor offenses to go free.

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Speaking to WABC Radio’s John Catsimatidis on Sunday, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said: ‘The criminal justice reform law that took effect in 2020, I think, that is definitely part of the thinking that needs to change.

‘We can keep most of the important elements of the reform, but there are absolutely some things that need to be adjusted,’ she explained of the 2019 bail reform laws – which were rolled back in 2020 to add to the list of crimes for which bail can be set.

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Sewell also seemed to decry the decriminalization of quality of life crimes, like turnstile jumping at the subway stations, marijuana use and drinking in public.

‘There are entire categories of serious crimes that we can no longer make an arrest for,’ Sewell told Catsimatidis. ‘We can only issue a summons.

‘We have used discretion in the past. Now we don’t even have that,’ she said.

Elaborating further, she added: ‘There are entire categories of crimes where we can make an arrest , but the judges are prohibited from ever setting bail – even if the same burglar or car thief commits the same crime every day and ends up in front of the same judge.

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‘They used to have that discretion, and in many cases we don’t anymore.’

Sewell’s comments come amid a weekend filled with assault cases in the Big Apple, as the NYPD reports that the city’s crime rate was up nearly 60 percent in February, when compared to the same time the year before.

New York City Police Commissioner has called for an end to New York's woke bail reform laws

New York City Police Commissioner has called for an end to New York’s woke bail reform laws

During the month of February, the NYPD reported a 58.7 percent increase in total crime. The latest figures showed 9,138 incidents as opposed to 5,759 in 2021 - with double-digit surges in nearly every major category

During the month of February, the NYPD reported a 58.7 percent increase in total crime. The latest figures showed 9,138 incidents as opposed to 5,759 in 2021 – with double-digit surges in nearly every major category

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The city’s latest crime figures show 9,138 incidents in February, as opposed to 5,759 during the same period in 2021 – with double-digit surges in nearly every major category.

There were 32 murders in February, three more than the same month last year.

Multiple other categories saw shocking jumps, including car theft, which soared by nearly 105 percent; grand larceny, which jumped nearly 80 percent over the previous year; robberies, which surged 56 percent; a 44 percent bump in burglaries and a 22 percent spike in assaults. Rapes also saw a terrifying 35 percent rise in February.

But the crime wave shows no sign of stopping. 

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On Thursday, an 87-year-old Broadway singing coach was shoved to the pavement and critically injured during an unprovoked attack in Manhattan.   

Barbara Maier Gustern, who once coached Blondie singer Debbie Harry, was pushed from behind in front of her building at West 28th Street and Eighth Avenue in Chelsea at 8:30 pm that night. 

She was conscious when paramedics arrived, but managed to tell police that she had been attacked by another woman.

Soon, her condition rapidly worsened, the Daily News reported. 

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She sustained severe injuries to her head and remains critically injured, police have said.

Barbara Maier Gustern, who once coached Blondie singer Debbie Harry, was pushed from behind in front of her building in Chelsea and suffered severe injuries to her head

Barbara Maier Gustern, who once coached Blondie singer Debbie Harry, was pushed from behind in front of her building in Chelsea and suffered severe injuries to her head

The suspect is described by police as a dark-haired woman wearing a black jacket, black leggings, a white skirt and dark colored shoes

The suspect was captured on surveillance footage leaving the scene

The suspect is described by police as a red-haired woman wearing a black jacket, black leggings, a white skirt and dark colored shoes 

Meanwhile, on Saturday, a deranged 60-year-old man jumped over the counter and viciously stabbed two employees at the Museum of Modern Art after his membership was revoked. 

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Police say Gary Cabana, 60,  jumped on the desk with a knife, rammed it into the victims’ backs and collar bones and then ran away. 

Gary Cabana, 60, is wanted by police for the attack at the MoMa yesterday. He is on the run

Gary Cabana, 60, is wanted by police for the attack at the MoMa yesterday. He is on the run 

The two employees – one male, one female – survived and were taken to the hospital. Cabana, who has grey hair and wears thick-rimmed reading glasses, is now at large. 

Police are still looking for him. 

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Cabana’s address is listed as The Times Square, a charity-run building at 255 West 43rd Street for formerly homeless people or people who are mentally ill. 

It is unclear what type of MoMa membership he had and why he specifically targeted the two employees, who are now recovering at a local hospital. 

Police said one of the employees was a 24-year-old woman being treated for stabs to the lower back and one stab to the back of her neck.  The other was stabbed in the collar bone. 

Surveillance footage caught the moment Cabana stabbed two MoMa employees after climbing over the front desk of the museum to attack them

Surveillance footage caught the moment Cabana stabbed two MoMa employees after climbing over the front desk of the museum to attack them 

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One of the stabbing victims was a 24-year-old woman working behind the reception desk

One of the stabbing victims was a 24-year-old woman working behind the reception desk

Despite her injuries, the woman was heard joking about receiving hazard pay after suffering stabs to her back and neck

Despite her injuries, the woman was heard joking about receiving hazard pay after suffering stabs to her back and neck

Police are also offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who can help them catch the ‘cold-blooded’ killer who shot two homeless men the day before, killing one, in two horrifying attacks.

One of the victims died after being shot in the head and the neck at 6am on 148 Lafayette Street, opposite the exclusive and expensive 11 Howard hotel. It took 12 hours for police to realize he was dead and recover his body – riddled with bullet holes – from the bright yellow sleeping bag he’d been in. 

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At 4.30am, the killer shot a different homeless man in the arm on nearby King Street. That victim survived and was taken to the hospital. 

In the Lafayette Street killing, the suspect was filmed in chilling surveillance footage wearing a black ski mask and black clothing. He was seen prodding the helpless  victim and looking around before firing his fatal shots. 

In an urgent appeal yesterday, Mayor Eric Adams said: ‘Homelessness turning into a homicide. We need to find this person and we need New Yorkers to help us. This is a cold blooded act of murder.’ 

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website.  

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In the first attack, the 38-year-old victim was asleep on King Street, between Varick Street and Sixth Avenue when the shooter approached him at 5am. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital and is expected to survive.   

When the shooter fired at him, he woke up and yelled: ‘What the hell are you doing?’ according to police. The second victim’s age is not known but he was described by police as a Hispanic man.

Video caught the suspect wanted in two attacks against homeless individuals walking up to one of them, kicking him several times before taking out his weapon and shooting

Video caught the suspect wanted in two attacks against homeless individuals walking up to one of them, kicking him several times before taking out his weapon and shooting

Mayor Eric Adams has vowed to crack down on the crime spree in the city, and has pleaded with lawmakers in Albany to reconsider the bail reform laws

Mayor Eric Adams has vowed to crack down on the crime spree in the city, and has pleaded with lawmakers in Albany to reconsider the bail reform laws 

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The crime wave comes during Adams’ first few months in office. The former NYPD cop has vowed to crack down on the influx of incidents on the city’s streets and subway system – which has seen a rash of violent incidents in recent weeks. 

He has previously pleaded with lawmakers in Albany recently to reconsider the controversial bail reform law that would allow judges to consider whether a person is dangerous before releasing them from jail.

But Democratic leadership has repeatedly rejected the mayor’s request, and said they will not act on changing the law, according to the New York Post. 

Adams said he wants to see changes in bail reform laws and other criminal justice measures, claiming they will bring down crime rates in the city and reduce gun violence. 

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In February, Adams, who campaigned last year on getting people to get back to work amid the COVID pandemic and cleaning up the crime-ridden subway system, outlined his plans for city bail laws, which can allow for suspects to roam the streets often within hours of an arrest.

‘Let’s remove the cash bail system, because one should not be able to get out of jail just because you can pay bail. Let’s take that away. Judges should look at the case in front of them and say, ‘This person has two gun arrests, and he’s continually saying to the people of the city that I don’t care about the safety of you,” the mayor said.

‘That judge should have the right to make the discretion that this person just be held.’    

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