Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik railed against New York’s new bail-reform law Monday after a man who’s now been arrested 139 times thanked Democrats for guaranteeing his immediate release despite repeatedly swiping hundreds of dollars from unsuspecting subway commuters since the state’s law went into effect last month.
“If you really cared about the city, you get rid of the mayor and you get rid of the governor,” Kerik said Monday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” referencing Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, both Democrats.
“This is the governor’s responsibility. It’s irresponsible… it’s dangerous.”
Charles Barry, 56, has been arrested six times since the start of this year. He’s been released each time without having to post bail under New York’s new bail-reform law since his alleged offenses were nonviolent, the New York Daily News reported. In the past, Barry’s served several stints in state prison and had a lengthy record, including six felonies, 87 misdemeanors and 21 missed court hearings, the newspaper reported, citing court records.
“Bail reform, it’s lit!” Barry yelled to reporters Thursday outside the NYPD Transit District 1 headquarters before officers transported him to Manhattan Central Booking. “It’s the Democrats! The Democrats know me and the Republicans fear me. You can’t touch me! I can’t be stopped!”
“This guy is completely out of control and you can’t do anything to him,” Kerik said. “The judges, the prosecutors, nobody can do anything to him because of the bail-reform law that Gov. Cuomo signed into effect.”
A high-ranking official in the New York City Police Department said because of the new bail-reform law, offenders such as Barry would be released and then repeat the same crimes because judges could not order them to be held in jail before trial. Sometimes, what would begin as a nonviolent crime often would turn violent if a robbery went awry, he added.
“It’s not just him,” Kerik explained. “It’s others like him. We’ve had people since January 1st arrested on rape charges, let out, reraped, people arrested on felony charges let out, murdered. This has been going on the last six weeks.”
He also said lawmakers were “sitting around… trying to figure out what to do about it. They have to change it. The mayor should be standing on his pulpit screaming at the top of his lungs to fix it, and… he’s absent.”
Legal Aid Society, which represented Barry, argued the NYPD was using a few cases to spread fear over the new law.
“Mr. Barry’s case underscores the need for economic stability and meaningful social services, not a need to roll back bail reform,” the society said in a statement. “Locking up Mr. Barry on unaffordable bail or worse, remanding without bail, ultimately does nothing to protect the public and fails entirely to address his actual needs.”
Kerik credited former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, for cleaning up the city, but he said he feared the new law may be reversing the effective policies put into place during his time in office.
“You have to go back to what happened in 1994 when Rudy Giuliani was elected. People elected Giuliani because crime was at its highest, there was no economic development, real estate was dropping and at some point, people of New York City said, ‘Enough is enough, we have to fix it.'”
“We’re coming back to that now,” Kerik added. “For the first time in 25 years last week, I saw squeegee guys at the Lincoln Tunnel. It’s absurd. We are going back to where we were in the 1990s, early 1990s, 1980s. It shouldn’t be.”