NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio and police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the man who allegedly shot and killed NYPD Officer Randolph Holder this week should never have been let out of jail.
But as CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, some experts said policies that have turned New York City into gun city may be to blame.
The mayor and police commissioner were unambiguous in their contention that suspected gunman Tyrone Howard, 30, did not belong in with the rest of society.
“He sure as hell shouldn’t have been out on the street,” said Mayor de Blasio.
“There are people in our city; in our society, that despite our best efforts, they’re criminals. Many of them are violent criminals,” added Bratton, “and we need to separate them from the rest of us.”
De Blasio and Bratton charged that Howard was a career criminal who was arrested last fall on drug charges, and freed from jail as part of a diversion program. They said that was the wrong move.
“He would have been the last person in New York City that I would have wanted to see in a diversion program,” Bratton said.
But a spokesman for Judge Edward McLaughlin, who freed Howard, said the mayor and police commissioner were pointing fingers in the wrong direction.
“It’s very easy to look back, unfairly cast blame and second-guess without all the facts, trying to blame the system,” said David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the Office of Court Administration. “But in reality, you should blame the person who pulled the trigger that tragically killed the police officer.”
Criminal justice experts said a combination of factors contributed to Holder becoming the fourth NYPD officer killed in the past 10 months. One is the reduction of the stop, question and frisk program.
“They feel more encouraged and emboldened to carry weapons on the street. That has a direct correlation, I would suggest, to more cops getting killed on the streets,” said former NYPD officer and FBI agent Manny Gomez.
Gomez also said de Blasio running for mayor on what has been described as an anti-police platform contributed as well.
“The message to the thug on the street the administration is saying that they are not going to go after us the way they used to,” Gomez said.
As to the diversion program to which Howard was sent, Bookstaver pointed out that even without it, Howard would have been out on the street awaiting trial because he was able to make the $35,000 bail.