Bill Bratton warns New York could face ‘crime virus’ over bail reform bill

Former NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton warned that New York could face a “crime virus” thanks to the state legislature’s bungled overhaul of the controversial bail reform bill.

“They are not doing enough,” Bratton told host John Catsimatidis on his AM-970 radio show “The Cat’s Roundtable” in an interview that aired Sunday. “I’d expressed a concern when the initial reforms came out, they were poorly written, poorly conceived and being poorly implemented.”

“I worried that if they started tinkering with it once again and needed to ‘reform the reforms,’ that they would make even more of a mess of it — and they’ve done it,” Bratton said. “The New York legislature almost needs to be named the New York Department of Sanitation, because they put so much garbage in, they basically generate a lot of garbage coming out, and that reform package coming out is more of the same,”

“I guess we’ll have to wait and see whatever the final package actually is, but from what I’m hearing it doesn’t sound too good. As we finally get rid of one virus there’s going to be a second virus created by the legislature, which is gonna be the crime virus,” the ex-commish added.

Bratton also expressed concerns about the administration’s decision to release inmates from Rikers Island, including some who have been convicted of violent crimes, in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus within the prison.

“One of the concerns I would have is where are they putting them. A lot of them come from environments where they were living in shelters or were domestic violence abusers. You don’t want to put them back into homes. The reality is that even if they don’t adhere to the guidelines about reporting in or dealing with their probation officers there’s not going to be the ability to re-incarcerate them. When you don’t have enforcement capabilities the rule and regulations have no meaning,” Bratton said in the interview.

Bratton acknowledged the near impossible situation that the country is going through as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to effect lives and livelihoods across the nation, but remained hopeful.

“Literally you’d have to go back to the start of World War II, or in the case of more contemporary history, September 11, to have had a time where we’ve been more at risk, in the sense of fear about the future. I’m an optimist and I’m very confident that we’ll get through this, but not without great cost,” he said.

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