NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton warned Sunday that a federal program to release convicts early could have dangerous consequences.
“One of the issues of concern is when people go to jail, oftentimes they go to jail with negotiated charges,” the top cop said on John Catsimatidis’ radio show. “Somebody that is in jail that seems that they’re a non-violent drug offender may in fact have crimes of violence in their record. So we have to be very concerned about who we’re letting out.”
His comments come a month after President Obama announced the early release of about 6,000 non-violent offenders — the largest one-time release of federal prisoners in the nation’s history. Prisons began discharging inmates on Friday and are expected to finish letting them out Monday.
Last week, Bratton gave a moving eulogy at the funeral for NYPD Det. Randolph Holder,who was shot to death in East Harlem on Oct. 20, allegedly by Tyrone Howard, who has been arrested 28 times and was in a diversion program at the time of the shooting.
“This individual had 28 arrests — that’s 28 times we caught him committing the crime, let alone all the crimes that he probably committed in between us catching him,” he said. “Some people are criminals. This guy had been given more chances to deal with his drug addiction problem — he failed every time … Some people are bad people. And we need to separate the bad people from the good people.”
Bratton added that the issue of sealed arrest records — as well as lax federal gun laws — need to be reexamined when dealing with early-release and diversion programs.