Siding with Mayor Eric Adams, frustrated Merchants urged Gov. Hochul and the Albany Legislature to repeal the controversial cashless bail law to put more repeat offenders and other dangerous criminals behind bars.
The spike in crime associated with the coronavirus pandemic has been a double whammy for small businesses, small business owners in the Big Apple said Thursday.
“We have problems. So Gov. Hochul, Chairman [Carl] Heastie, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Majority Leader, please reverse bail reform,” Phil Wong, president of the China-American Citizens Alliance, said at a rally on the Lower East Side.
“Listen to Eric Adams, have a special session, discuss it and talk about it. … You can’t just ignore it. It’s the data. People get shot and killed, rob. These are your data. Read it,” he said.
In a symbolic show of support, the rally stood outside Bel Fries, the Ludlow Street restaurant which was ransacked by thugs last month following a dispute over the cost of the dip.
Frank Garcia, the head of the National Association of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, said the city’s small business owners were so upset they were willing to drop Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul in favor of the Republican challenger, Rep. Lee Zeldin, during the November election. for governor.
“Our members have had enough and are ready to vote against the governor. I’m afraid she’ll lose the Latino vote if she doesn’t contact us after that,” Garcia said.
“Zeldin wanted to be here today, he personally called, but couldn’t come.”
Attendees spoke about bodega worker Jose Alba, originally charged with murder for stabbing a threatening assailant to death in an act of self-defense. The charges were later dropped by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg following a firestorm of criticism sparked in part by Post coverage.
Hochul, at an independent news conference in Albany, said she and the legislature would not revisit the bail law this year. She said she wanted to see how judges use revisions to the bail law earlier this year, giving them more discretion to detain repeat criminals and defendants who have a history of gun violence.
“I’m ready to review everything, but let’s see whether or not the system can start working as we planned,” Hochul told reporters.
“The legislature meets again next January and by then we will be able to assess the real impact of our changes,” she added.
The reform enacted in 2019 stripped judges of the ability to post bail or detain defendants charged with most non-violent crimes or misdemeanors. The aim was to prohibit the detention of defendants simply because they were poor and could not afford to post cash bail.
But critics said the law led to unintended consequences, such as defendants with long long rap sheets for committing previous crimes ending up on the streets to prey on more victims.
Adams, citing NYPD data, said Wednesday that a small group of just 10 career criminals were allowed to run wild in the Big Apple and rack up nearly 500 arrests after New York approved bail reform. – and most of them are still on the streets.