We are now seeing the dangerous consequences of Albany’s criminal-justice “reforms.”
As The Post reported Saturday, street violence has killed 21 children under the age of 18 just this year. Experts note that the closing of in-person school during the pandemic and the general upheaval of lockdowns led to more young people being enlisted into gangs. But those gangs also took tragic advantage of recent Raise the Age laws, part of which allows and often requires judges to send even violent crimes to family court.
“The gang members are allowing the younger people to do the shooting because there’s less consequences for them, especially if it’s a first, second or third offense,” a source said. “They say, ‘You traumatize a 16-year-old kid when you put them in jail with a grown man’ — but they’re out there doing grown-man things.”
Then, on Sunday, The Post revealed that New York City recorded 3,709 retail theft complaints in August — the most ever in a single month. Isaac “Man of Steal” Rodriguez has been arrested 46 times this year for retail theft, and he just kept getting released because it isn’t a bail-eligible crime. It was only when he allegedly assaulted someone during a robbery that he was locked up.
“Insanity,” tweeted NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea in response to the story. “No other way to describe the resulting crime that has flowed from disastrous bail-reform law.”
From politicians — silence. They don’t care that stores are being robbed, and will just blame companies when they inevitably decide, as they have in San Francisco, that the cost of doing business in, say, Jackson Heights, is too high to remain open. And that neighborhood will suffer.
As for dead teens, the problem is always still the police “harassing” gang members, rather than the deadly toll those gangs take on young men who are all black or Hispanic.
Kyla Sobers, 16, a junior at the Cobble Hill School of American Studies, was just sitting in a Brooklyn park when a bullet hit her Friday. Thank God she’s going to be OK, but how can we let this continue? “It’s a park. It’s children playing,” said her uncle, Dwayne Sobers, in disbelief. “Even if you live that kind of life, have some morals. There are children playing.”
“I think it’s a sign that the city is not working for the people, somehow,” said Tony Karon, a journalist who lives near the scene of Sobers’ shooting. “There is something wrong. This is not like a pathology of one kid here, one kid there. This is like a pattern, so something is wrong.”
In June, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, echoing the argument of many progressives, said that while “any amount of harm is unacceptable and too much,” she wanted to make sure “that this hysteria, you know, that this doesn’t drive a hysteria and that we look at these numbers in context.”
These are the numbers in context: 21 dead children, more than three times the figure for the same period in 2020 and 2019. National homicides up 30 percent, the largest one-year increase ever, says the FBI. And New York City has seen 26,385 shoplifting cases so far in 2021, the most ever recorded in the 26 years the numbers have been tracked.
We have taken away the ability of police to maintain order. We have taken away the ability of judges to make judgments — to decide that keeping someone in custody will make our city safer. It is hurting the very people that New York’s politicians claim to want to help.
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