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Nassau police will publicize the names of defendants not given bail who are rearrested

Charles Lane
WSHU Public Radio
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman signs an executive order alongside Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder that publishes police rearrest records.

Continuing his criticism of bail reform, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said his police department will begin issuing daily reports of people arrested who were not given bail on the previous charge. Blakeman says he hopes the publicity will cause state lawmakers to roll back reforms passed in 2019 that expanded the number of crimes for which judges cannot impose a cash bail.

Earlier this month, the state released court data that showed that 0.9% of Long Island defendants were rearrested for violent crimes while awaiting trial on previous charges and 12% were rearrested for lesser violations and misdemeanors while awaiting trial.

Blakeman said voters will give Democrats “another whooping” if the state keeps its bail reform.

“If they don't change, it's going to be a very, very difficult year for those who voted for this,” he said at a press conference announcing the new policy. “As we saw in the district attorney's race — I think that was the seminal issue in that race, cashless bail."

Republicans trounced Democrats last November, winning Nassau’s county executive and DA races, and in Suffolk capturing the DA’s office and the county Legislature.

Police haven’t yet worked out how they will get the data for these daily reports. Officials said they want to focus on rearrests where the judge had their discretion taken away by the new bail laws. However, court data shows cases where the judge used discretion to release defendants without bail and also instances where the defendant posted bail and was then rearrested.

“The numbers probably on one hand, I could count,” Blakeman said. “So basically, that is the exception. It's not the rule.”

Blakeman didn’t offer data to support his claim. However, state data shows that in Nassau 16% of people rearrested for a violent felony did pay a cash bail before being rearrested.

If police stick to their goal of daily reports, they will likely publicize misdemeanor and non-violent felony rearrests. According to state data, on average in Nassau, someone is rearrested for a violent crime roughly every other day, while 40 people are released without cash bail and aren’t rearrested.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.
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