ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New York Republican officials joined local Rochester residents Friday, to speak out against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recently-declared disaster emergency on gun violence.
With a focus on renewing his call to end bail reform, New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy led the press conference and suggested increasing police presence and tighten bail reform laws.
“The public health crisis is the direct result of democratic policies that focused on handcuffing police and letting criminals run free,” Langworthy said. “People of color don’t want less police, they want more police and they want safer streets.”
Though some portion of Rochester residents believe the spike in gun violence is largely caused by bail reform, Monroe County Public Defender Erik Teifke says blaming bail statues is not the solution to the problem.
“The public is scared and they are concerned and I can understand that, but they are being mislead,” Teifke said. “Something is being pitched to them as the reason and there is no evidence to support that.”
In addition, Teifke believes there is a trend related to the uptick in violence across the country’s cities — none associated with bail reform.
“Crime had gone up in 63 of the 66 cities across the country,” Teifke said. “The vast majority of those cities, were ones in states that had no recent reforms to their bail statues.”
While bail reform has allowed previously-charged criminals to commit violence once they are out of jail, Teifke says an increase in bail reform has also provided the opportunity to keep jobs and homes for thousands of people.
Gov. Cuomo’s disaster violence emergency, is set to create an office of gun violence prevention to coordinate violence hot-spots and invest $138.7 million in intervention, prevent, and jobs programs to engage at-risk youth and get young people off the streets.