NEW YORK - New York City Mayor Eric Adams calls New York the laughingstock of the rest of the country due to the state's so-called bail reform laws.
He made the statement after a video of a teen attacking and choking an NYPD officer in a Manhattan subway station. The teen had recently been arrested and released without bail.
"When I say 'we are the laughingstock of the country', this is what I'm talking about. How do we keep our cities safe when the other parts of the criminal justice system, they have abandoned our public safety apparatus," Adams said as a news conference on Tuesday.
The attack happened Saturday evening at the 125th St. Lexington Ave. subway station in East Harlem.
The 16-year-old had tried to jump the turnstiles when he was confronted by officers with the New York City Police Department. The officers asked him to leave the station and he allegedly became confrontational and attacked.
The mayor says the teen had been arrested for robbery a few days before the incident and was released without bail.
The boy has a prior arrest for possession of a loaded gun. That case is being handled in family court because of his age.
Adams says the brazen attack is a clear indicator that something needs to change.
"Catch, release, repeat," Adams complained about the court system under New York's bail reform laws.
Adams has repeatedly urged state legislators in Albany to amend bail reform laws. He wants an emergency session as the city deals with a crime crisis.
"We're saying, let's reexamine the bail laws in the area of violent offenders," he says.
He also wants 16 and 17-year-old to be prosecuted as adults for gun charges.
But Assembly Speaker Carl Hasty, a Bronx Democrat, says that is not necessary.
In a statement, he said: "The three types of crimes referenced by the mayor are bail eligible and detention can be sought in family court under current law."
What is the bail reform law in NY?
New York eliminated the cash bail requirement for most nonviolent crimes. Supporters say that it ensures that people will not be locked up simply because they're too poor to pay for their release while wealthier defendants charged with the same crime walk free.