Last week, I highlighted the case of a New York City gang member arrested for robbery being released on $6K bond and now accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old while out on bail. Well, another NYC judge just released a convicted gang murderer arrested for felony possession of a firearm on zero bond. The abolish bail movement is going to become the new normal unless the silent majority speaks out.
According to the New York Post, which has covered the spate of violent criminals released back onto the streets in recent months, Shakeil Chandler, 32, served eight years in prison for a 2006 murder in Queens. Despite the complaints of the elitists that too many “low-level” offenders are locked up for too long, this reputed Crips gang member was paroled in 2014 thanks to a plea deal in 2009. Indeed, even the most violent gang members are paroled these days.
Like most gang-bangers released from prison, Chandler went back to the criminal underworld. On October 4, he was busted at 2 a.m. at the scene of a shooting in the Bronx and was seen kicking a Taurus .357 Magnum revolver under a car. He was arrested by NYPD and charged with felony possession. Remember, he’s a convicted murderer and a gang member. Yet Bronx Criminal Court Judge Jeanine Johnson released Chandler without bail. She cited, in part, the fact that Chandler “has full custody of his child” as rationale for releasing him.
It’s a shame these legal elites never exhibit the same sense of care and sympathy for innocent families victimized by their bleeding-heart decisions.
This is part of a dangerous growing trend of liberal jurisdictions that claim to detest gun violence doing everything they can to avoid locking up known violent felons who are caught illegally possessing firearms. The fact that Republicans in Washington have not made an issue of this gross hypocrisy in the gun control debate is shocking. There is a real need for tougher federal laws to ensure that federal prosecutors are able to more efficiently scoop up these cases where local prosecutors and county judges go wobbly both on pretrial release and post-conviction sentencing.
However, according to the Post, there is a more intriguing twist to the case of Judge Johnson’s release of Chandler. Perhaps she has such an aversion to jail because she herself was a recipient of jailbreak.
On June 25, 2014, Johnson was arrested for driving erratically at 4 a.m. in the morning and checked in at 0.113 on a Breathalyzer — well over the legal limit for DUI. She allegedly refused to get out of the car and invoked her status as general counsel to then-Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright. Johnson was charged with DWI, reckless driving, and resisting arrest, but allegedly used favors to downgrade the charges to driving while ability impaired, which is only a violation, not a crime. According to the Post, “Wright sent the judge in that case a letter describing Johnson as an “indispensable member” of his staff. She got off with a $300 fine and a 90-day suspension of her driver’s license. Now she is a judge.
Judge Johnson best embodies the elite mentality of the limousine liberals in the legal profession. They sanctimoniously decry unfair incarceration – at the expense of public safety – and release the worst gang members back on the streets. Then, they seek to suspend the laws for themselves.
This case is no aberration. New York is slated to abolish cash bail entirely beginning next year for all but a small number of criminals arrested on the streets. Earlier this month, city law enforcement released an illegal alien previously convicted for child sex offenses after he was re-arrested for a similar offense and had served only a few months in jail. He was only taken off the streets thanks to the work of ICE.
All the hard work that went into cleaning up New York City 25 years ago is beginning to slip down the drain. Thanks to the NYPD releasing thousands of dangerous criminal aliens, the dismantling of tough policing, and the downgrading of sentencing including against drug traffickers, the homelessness, street violence, and drug problems are rampant.
It’s gotten so bad that EMS personnel are now being assaulted on the streets, raising the outrage of their union leader. “Mayor de Blasio, you need to do more to protect the men and women who protect and serve this city,” said Oren Barzilay, president of EMS union Local 2507 to local reporters following a vicious assault on one official. “The city is spiraling down to a chaos where there’s no respect for nobody — buckets of water thrown at police officers, assaults on EMTs and paramedics are on a daily basis, assaults on MTA workers is on a daily basis … our city has run down to a point of no return.”
Sadly, so long as both parties are committed to reducing the prison population at all costs, the criminals will continue to feel no deterrent. As Al Sharpton so often says, “No justice, no peace.”
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.