Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell spoke candidly Wednesday regarding bail reform and her plea for judges to consider threat levels of those arrested.
While celebrating the return of the TCS Marathon in Central Park on Nov. 2, Sewell spoke with amNewYork Metro after the event on her thoughts on the controversial act, stating that while she feels the reform stemmed from good intentions, the practice itself may not be serving the public at large and that it should look at each individual in question.
“We all believe that those reforms were well meaning. I think we asked for judges to be able to consider whether the person is a public safety threat before deciding whether to remand, release or set bail. I think it’s important that we make sure that we look at whether or not the discovery rules are really keeping the criminal justice system moving in the direction that we need to move in. So, we’ve made that point clear from the very beginning, and we hope they’ll consider that in the very near future,” Police Commissioner Sewell said.
Bail reform has been a hot button topic in recent months and has only gained greater heat as we draw closer to midterm elections, and now the head of the country’s largest police department has also weighed in.
This comes after several months of the NYPD stating that they have been tackling a large number of recidivists who repeatedly go back onto the streets to commit crimes. Back in August during a crime statistic reveal, top brass said that they had cuffed one individual who had a staggering 78 prior arrests.
“I think we do ourselves a little bit of a disservice when we just say bail reform. Criminal justice reform is the total package, and these laws were meant to address disproportionality in the criminal justice system. But a disproportionate number of our victims are people of color as well. So, we’ll continue to push for these changes,” Sewell told amNewYork Metro in August.
While Sewell drove home the point that she appreciates what bail reform is attempting to accomplish, she also acknowledged frustration of combating those who repeatedly return to a life of crime after being cuffed.