NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – City officials mount a sharp attacked on the court system after a man accused of attacking several cops – including Chief of Department Terence Monahan — was released without bail.
But court officials are fighting back saying the mayor and the police commissioner are trying to shift blame for failed gun violence policies.
It was a watershed moment – a low point in city crime fighting – when NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan and three other cops were brutally attacked during a Brooklyn Bridge protest, reported CBS2's Marcia Kramer. The situation got worse when one of the attackers was freed without Bail , infuriating the mayor and the police commissioner.
"I think the world like this at times seems like it's upside down," Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said. "There needs to be consequences for people who just have no regard for the law."
"To see someone assault him, the chief of department, is absolutely unacceptable. Assaulting any police officer is absolutely unacceptable. There have to be consequences and I say we need to have the court system to be up and running," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The comments came at a press conference where the mayor and the police commissioner unveiled a new plan to deal with the city's spiraling gun violence. Both had the court system squarely in the crosshairs. They have a litany of complaints, claiming those arrested for gun crimes are free to roam the streets and shoot again because, they say, courts have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and bail reform has meant many or freed without bail.
"Just in the last year and a half, we have about 2,000 open gun cases. Half of them were indicted. We need the price of carrying illegal firearms in New York City to be felt. We don't necessarily need more gun arrests. We need the people who are caught to be prosecuted fully and we need the court system open to get them off the street as quickly as possible," Shea said.
"The arrest is almost irrelevant. What happens to the prosecution?" Shea added. "Right now, with this environment with COVID, I think people should be standing up on the highest step and saying, 'I demand to have safety, I demand to have an operating court system, my children's lives are at stake.' We can't have a system - public safety is at risk here where the courts are not fully operating."
A spokesman for the Office of Court Administration insists the judges never stopped working.
"Clearly the mayor continues to refuse to take any responsibility for his actions, instead shifting the blame," said spokesman Lucian Chalfen.
The head of the State Court Officers Association agrees.
"Mayor de Blasio is a complete moron and I will stand by that statement until he is no longer mayor of the city of New York," said Patrick Cullen, president of the New York State Court Officers Association. "The elimination of the anti-crime unit has caused a major problem... handcuffing the NYPD is really causing major disturbances."
As for the men charged with attacking Monahan, the prosecutor requested $75,000 bail. The judge refused.
Quaran Campbell is accused of injuring three officers during Wednesday's unity march across the Brooklyn Bridge.
He was arrested Thursday and charged with assault.
Monahan called the judge's decision "reckless."
"Quran Campbell is captured on video for the nation to witness him viciously assault 3 cops in uniform — 1 who lost consciousness," he tweeted. "Judge Robert Rosenthal's reckless decision to release Mr. Campbell WITHOUT BAIL endangers every NYer and the officers who risk it all to protect them."
Shayborn Banks, 25, of the Bronx, and Chanice Reyes, 24 of Morris Plains, New Jersey, were also charged in Wednesday's clash on the bridge.
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