Even Al Sharpton has joined the growing number of voices decrying out-of-control crime, but the Democrats who run the Legislature still have their fingers in their ears.
Asked about The Post’s cover picture Wednesday of a man making off with nearly a dozen steaks from a Trader Joe’s, Sharpton griped that the rash of retail thefts has stores “locking up my toothpaste” and demanded Mayor Eric Adams take action.
Manhattan DA Alvin “Let ‘Em Loose” Bragg, meanwhile, says he’s now looking for ways to charge thefts “at a higher level,” especially “repeat players.” He’s also conceded that crime in his own Harlem neighborhood has become a “crisis,” noting two separate shootings near him just last weekend.
But progressive Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez actually connects the dots, noting that the state’s bail-reform law has led to “80 to 90%” of gun-possession perps going free. Gonzalez is calling for the Legislature to give judges more discretion.
Two more-centrist Democrats, Assemblymen Mike Cusick and Diane Savino, want to let some 16- and 17-year-olds caught with firearms be prosecuted in Criminal Court — not far more lenient Family Court, as the Raise the Age law now requires.
Regular folks, meanwhile, are outraged. The latest Quinnipiac poll found that more voters see crime as a serious issue (74%) than ever, since it first asked the question in 1999. And more (46%) rank crime as the city’s most urgent problem than anything else.
No wonder: As The Post has reported, nearly every single precinct in the city has seen crime spike this year, including five where the rate has doubled. In the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst, Queens, crime has actually soared 358%, with 197 incidents this year vs. just 43 through the same period in 2021.
Citywide, shootings are up 30% over 2021 (60% over 2020); rapes and robberies, 35%; grand larceny, 62%; car thefts, a whopping 96%. Queens alone has logged more than 1,200 grand larcenies in just the first few weeks of the year, more than 30 a day.
Despite all that, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins refuse to lift a finger, claiming there’s no need for fixes to either the bail or Raise the Age laws.
Stewart-Cousins repeatedly cites a Times Union analysis that found “98%” of defendants released under the bail law have yet to be rearrested for serious crimes committed pending trial. Yet as former top Queens Assistant District Attorney Jim Quinn notes, that stat included mostly first-timers, who would’ve been released without bail even before the current law became effective.
Counting just felony defendants with priors in the city, 31% were rearrested before their case was disposed. Of those with prior pending violent offenses, 58% were nabbed again before their case was over.
The case for action is beyond compelling. Heastie and Stewart-Cousins need to take their fingers out of their ears — and act.