Al Sharpton urges black lawmakers to crack down on serial criminals, assist prosecutors in cases

Al Sharpton urges black lawmakers to crack down on serial criminals, assist prosecutors in cases

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Civil rights activist Al Sharpton on Monday urged black lawmakers to approve new measures to rid the streets of recidivist lawbreakers and help district attorneys prosecute crime.

Sharpton, who recently convened New York’s top African-American elected officials — including Mayor Eric Adams, state Attorney General Letitia James, Senate Majority Leader Andrew Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) to discuss public safety and criminal justice issues — was responding to a Siena College poll released Monday that found that 93% of New Yorkers consider crime a serious problem in the state.

Last year, the preacher famously complained about brazen thefts that had retail stores taking extreme measures, including “locking up my toothpaste.”

“The results of the latest Siena poll won’t come as a surprise to anyone who lives and works in a Black or Brown community. Many of us have spent the better part of a year calling for our criminal justice system to be fine-tuned. Addressing public safety is a question of how, not if, which is why I convened New York’s unprecedented number of Black citywide and statewide leaders this month to start that conversation,” Sharpton said in a statement.

Sharpton said he supported the foundation of the controversial cashless bail law that releases most defendants accused of misdemeanor and non-felony crimes. He said no one should be detained pending trial because they were too poor to post cash bail.

Daren Mickens.

“Let me be clear that we’re not retreating from the hard-fought reforms that ended the jailing of men of color on Rikers simply for the crime of being too poor. But there are tweaks that can turn these good reforms into great ones by addressing issues like recidivism, giving our District Attorneys the right tools, and helping the thousands of mentally ill New Yorkers forced out onto the streets,” Sharpton said.

Sharpton seemed to be on the same page with Adams, who has complained about repeat offenders or career criminals back out on the streets wreaking havoc on communities.

For his part, Adams said Sharpton was spot on.

“Public safety and justice are the prerequisites to prosperity, and the vast majority of New Yorkers still believe crime is a serious problem that we must tackle right now,” Adams told The Post.”

Reverend Sharpton is correct that hard-fought reforms can be protected while we work with our partners in Albany on a holistic public safety approach that makes the necessary adjustments to ensure these reforms are working as intended. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues here in New York City and in Albany to get that done.”

The Post last week also reported on a Manhattan Institute study that found a controversial new state evidence law led to an increase in cases dropped by prosecutors.

Sharpton, who for decades protested against police brutality, has sought to find a middle ground on combating crime while protecting civil rights. He opposes the defund the police movement as being pushed by “latte liberals.”

But he also said he won’t sit back and allow “Albany Republicans” to “demonize” black leaders trying to find common ground on public safety and criminal justice.

“We are going to stand up to defend our leaders every time you try to mislead the public about their commitment to public safety. Every day we see the worst of rising crime as much as we see the worst of police brutality. We will not let you roll back justice for our community or get in the way of ensuring safety on our streets,” Sharpton said.

He expects black leaders to meet the challenge

“This is a moment where Black leaders will show why voters put them in office. It is on all of us to support their efforts and stand up to those who want to turn back the clock on justice. I know we are up to that challenge.”

The Siena poll found that 93% of voters said crime is a serious problem in New York — with 61% calling it a very serious problem. The results were similar among all races and ethnicities.

Meanwhile, the poll found that 79% of blacks, 73% of Latinos and 62% of whites said crime was a serious problem in their neighborhoods. About half of the Latinos said crime was a “very serious problem” in their community.

The survey also revealed that two-thirds of voters said they support the idea of giving judges more discretion to set bail for defendants accused of serious crimes, an idea mentioned by Gov. Kathy Hochul in her State of the State address.

https://nypost.com/2023/01/23/al-sharpton-urges-black-lawmakers-to-crack-down-on-serial-criminals/

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