A former top NYPD official said Sunday that state lawmakers “set us back a decade” by dropping an “atom bomb” on the criminal-justice system with their 2019 bail-reform laws.
Ex-Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller blasted the state’s bail-reform measures as “all ideology over common sense,” saying the laws were pushed by “advocates for people who commit crimes.”
Miller, who retired from the NYPD a few weeks ago after nearly a decade there, told radio’s “Cats Roundtable” that violent crime was at its lowest in 2018 and 2019 — before bail reform was passed in Albany.
“And then you saw crime start to climb, and it really set us back a decade in terms of shootings and murders, which is shame,” Miller told AM 770 host John Catsimatidis. “It’s like having a cure for a disease and then having the hospital take the vaccination away.”
Miller said state lawmakers “literally took every proposal that had been sitting on the shelf that they couldn’t pass because common-sense people wouldn’t let it happen, they blew the dust off them, and they passed them all at once.”
Critics of bail reform, including NYC Mayor Eric Adams, have blasted the laws for allowing repeat offenders back on the streets and not jailing people accused of violent crimes before trial.
“[Legislators] balled [the reforms] into one budget bill and then snuck them out in the middle of the night. And we’ve been suffering from it ever since,” Miller said. “I don’t think anybody bothered to read them. I think it was all ideology over common sense.
“And I think the criminal-justice system is a complex ecosystem where you can make changes and adjustments, and there are reforms that made sense that are in there,” he said. “But you can’t do all of that at once and drop it like an atom bomb on a system that that’s complicated and not expect turmoil.
“District attorneys don’t like it. Judges don’t like it. Police officers don’t like it. And citizens don’t like it. So that leaves one universe — the advocates — who think it’s terrific. They are advocates for people who commit crimes, who get caught in the system,” he said. “And where are the advocates for everybody else?”
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