Judge At Center Of Accused Cop Killer’s Release Controversy Has Critics, Defenders

Brooklyn DA Hynes Says Evelyn LaPorte 'Has Always Been A Good Judge'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) The judge who released NYPD Officer Peter Figoski’s alleged killer — without bail — a month before the murder was under fire on Thursday. Some are saying she made a huge mistake.

Her name is Judge Evelyn LaPorte and given what she knows she probably wishes now she had a do-over when Lamont Pride came before her on Nov. 4.

“She made a terrible decision and needs to be held accountable for that,” City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., said.

1010 WINS Reporter Juliet Papa Reports From Brooklyn

Vallone, the Council’s Public Safety chairman, is furious that the judge released Pride, the man accused of using an illegal semi-automatic to kill Officer Figoski, without bail and over the objections of the prosecutor, who had pointed out that Pride was also wanted in a North Carolina shooting.

“This was outrageous. This judge is mandated by law to set bail based on a bench warrant history and ties to another state, both of which she had violated her duty and, unfortunately, we saw the tragic results,” Vallone said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also furious at Judge LaPorte, a civil court judge sitting by designation in the criminal court. However, her former boss, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, refused to second guess her, even though he will have to prosecute Pride in the shooting of Officer Figoski.

“It was her understanding of the circumstances that she didn’t think bail was appropriate. We disagreed, but I’m not going to criticize her because it’s easy to do that. I think overall she’s a very good judge,” Hynes said.

“She has always been a very good judge. She was a good assistant DA. She worked for me.”

Hynes did, however, take a shot at the North Carolina criminal justice system, reports 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa.

“Had North Carolina believed that this guy was a serious threat then they would have had a hold warrant, rather than a no hold,” he said.

When North Carolina finally changed the warrant to a hold warrant, Pride was already out of the New York City system.

David Bookstaver is the communications director of the Office of Court Administration.

“If there is anyone to blame, as we look to do that, I think it’s the alleged gunman, Lamont Pride,” Bookstaver said.

WCBS 880 Reporter Irene Cornell reports…

The judge is up for re-election in 2014, so if there is a price to pay for her ruling it could happen then. LaPorte took the day off Thursday as the controversy began to swirl around her. It’s unclear whether she will be back on the bench Friday.

Where do you think the blame lies? Should Pride have ever even made it to New York City? Add your comments below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. badge2349 says:

    here piggy come and get it……..you bacon bitch!

  2. no justice says:

    heres why all cops need to be put out of commission, they are ALL criminals with badges!!!
    reason why I left the dept. made me sick to see how they abused their power , can’t be part of their criminal doings.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=don%27t+talk+to+cops&oq=dont+talk+to+cops&aq=0s&aqi=g-s4&aql=&gs_sm=c&gs_upl=88269941l88277707l0l88278852l21l20l2l0l0l0l349l2976l2.9.5.1l17l0

  3. a cop is a pig a pig is a cop says:

    So what just another Nigga shooting another pig NOTHING NEW ,,,,,old news

  4. Think it thru says:

    In the Court of public opinion – where newspapers and reporters wring every drop of sensationalism from every tragedy – the Judge is blameworthy, but those of us who have an expert, working knowlege of the New York State Criminal Procedure Law, and are familiar with the custom and habit of the arraignment process know, that this Judge did nothing improper or unusual. Has the media or anyone investigated the North Carolina matter BTW ? What was that case about, what efforts did those law enforcement officals make to apprehend this criminal?

  5. MIKE says:

    OH PLEEZ. SHE ONLY EXTENDED THE SAME COURTESY THAT HER WHITE COUNTER PARTS HAVE EXTENDED FOR YEARS! WHAY IS SHE AT FAULT? I UNDERSTAND A MAN IS DEAD BUT HOW MANY TIMES ARE SO CALLED CRIMINALS ARE RELEASED AND COMMIT CRIMES?
    I HATE TO BRING RACE INTO THIS BUT WHAT IF A WHITE JUDGE WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME (WHICH THAY DO) WOULD MINNI ME FEEL THA SAME WAY AND MAKE DREOGATORY STATEMENTS…OBSOLUTELY NOT!
    LETS STOP POINTING FINGERS AT THE JUDGE, THIE SYSTEM WORKS WHEN ITS IN FAVOR OF OTHER PEOPLE…AND I MEAN “OTHER PEOPLE!!!”

    1. SoTired says:

      Wow, you’re really ignorant. This isn’t a racial issue! This “man” was wanted in NC for SHOOTING SOMEONE, not a parking ticket. Wake up.. if this so called judge had done her job, a good cop would still be alive and 4 girls wouldn’t be mourning their father’s death.

      1. SoTired says:

        And btw, you do realize that your comment is inferring that judge laporte only released this guy because she shared his skin color right? Good job, you just proved even more why she should be disbarred..

        1. MIKE says:

          AND U CRACKERS DONT????

  6. James says:

    What we really need is tougher gun control laws in New York and our nation. We should tell our legislators in Albany and Washington to do something.

    1. DanTe says:

      Yes! Let’s make illegal guns illegal.

      Oh wait, does that means it’s illegal to be illegal, so it’s legal?

      No matter! Logic is obviously something you stupids don’t care for. Let’s just ban everything.

  7. JohnW9540 says:

    Perhaps there is a very good reason why she is a civil court judge and not a criminal court judge.

  8. truther says:

    Blaming the judge is asinine. Pride was arrested on a minor drug possession charge, the kind of which routinely sees no bail. The NC warrant was a non-factor at that arraignment – this isn’t the judge’s fault, it’s the fault of the system for making it a non-factor. This is all beside the point anyway, since there is no way to say that had the judge set some measly bail on that measly charge a month prior to the shooting, then Pride wouldn’t have been there to shoot the officer later on. Pride is to blame, not a good judge who did what every other judge in this city would have done (and had done a million times before, and has done hundreds of times since).

    1. Rugbyball says:

      @truther
      I disagree, she may not be the main reason for the murder, that is squarely on Pride for that, but she has some blame in this, she is not with out blame.
      Yes the NC warrant was a no hold, however the warrant was for a gun charge and he had a violent rap sheet. It’s easy enough to make a determination that this man is no angel and should be held why the NC DA is contacted, I know that’s what a hold warrant is for but common sense should be part of a judges job.
      She should take a mark for this in her official records, and who ever is running against her in 2014 should use this against her in his/her campaign. Let the people decide if she should go or stay.

  9. CN says:

    They seem to be blaming the judge not for letting him out, but for doing so without requiring bail. But even if the judge had set bail, he could have posted bail and then been out anyway.

  10. su says:

    Instead of running around pointing fingers (and trying to score political points), maybe it time to mourn a fine police officer! Later we might want to look at our procedures in arrignment court. A positive change would be – if you have a warrant of any kind any where, you must post $1 million bail. That would keep a few lowlifes off the street in our revolving door justice system. The saddest part is that this is not new – I have live here almost 40 years and it hasn’t changed. Everyone is up in arms because this time it was a police officer, not some poor domestic violence victim with her pathetic little piece of paper that says “stay away”.

  11. D'Joe says:

    Don’t blame the judge hmmm, tell that to Peter Figoski family and to all the cops that risk their lives to put people like Lamont Pride away.

  12. AV says:

    The judge still bares some blame…if she was confused due to the NC warrant she should of erred on the side of caution since Pride shot someone in NC….why let hime loose in NYC. and Hynes is only making nice with his ex-employee who he must deal with as a judge….anyone with some brains can see this !!! God bles NYPD and the Police

    1. Scott says:

      @AV. You are exactly right. Within every single story one may read, there is the underyling story which, usually is the truth. You touched on the truth in this particluar story, perfectly. Forgetting politics and blame, she is fully aware that she dropped the ball and she will have to deal with that. In the meantime, four beautiful girls lost a terrific father and that is what should be the focus in the short term.

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