Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday said that he wants judges to examine an accused criminal's potential for dangerousness when considering whether to grant bail, allow a prison alternative or lock up the person.
Three days after a convicted drug dealer fatally shot a plainclothes NYPD cop in Harlem, the mayor is proposing toughening New York State law, which currently bars judges from considering public safety in most cases before a court.
"Some people are irredeemable. I'm a progressive person, I'm a humanitarian, but I can also tell you some people are irredeemable and unless they are treated very, very differently they pose a danger to our society," de Blasio said at a news conference at City Hall.
In a drug case last year, a Manhattan judge allowed Tyrone Howard, the man accused of killing Police Officer Randolph Holder on Tuesday night, to enter a treatment program instead of going to prison. The judge cited Howard's addiction to the drug PCP.
Howard had a lengthy arrest record, but no violent felony convictions, a fact cited by the judge. He had been suspected of an earlier shooting but not convicted.
Any such legislation must be greenlighted by Albany, which hasn't approved such proposals in the past. New York is only one of three states -- Missouri and Mississippi are the others -- that bar judges from considering public safety when making bail determinations.