Key Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) targeted what she claimed was “excessive cash bail” sought by prosecutors in the New York City court system just one day after a man in Waukesha, Wisconsin, ran over dozens of people at a Christmas parade while he was out on “inappropriately low” bail.
Ocasio-Cortez put out a statement with Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, saying that the three sent letters to five New York City District Attorneys demanding briefings on prosecutors’ use of excessive bail in the New York City court system.
“We have grave concerns that excessive bail amounts are leading to unnecessary pretrial detention and contributing to a humanitarian crisis in New York City’s jail system, particularly on Rikers Island,” they claimed. “Fourteen people have died this year in the custody of New York City Department of Correction. Condemning thousands of individuals to languish in an environment plagued by persistent overcrowding and mounting violence as they await trial is not acceptable, and risks violating the federal civil rights of these individuals. If these conditions are not addressed, federal intervention may be necessary to protect detainees from additional harm.”
“When prosecutors seek excessive cash bail, it results in increased rates of incarceration — particularly for low-income defendants,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “More than 75% of individuals in custody haven’t been convicted of a crime, and are confined in unsafe conditions simply because they cannot afford cash bail. Condemning thousands of individuals to languish in such environments as they await trial is unacceptable.”
More than 75% of individuals in custody haven't been convicted of a crime, and are confined in unsafe conditions simply because they cannot afford cash bail. Condemning thousands of individuals to languish in such environments as they await trial is unacceptable.
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) November 22, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks come just one day after a 39-year-old black male was taken into custody by law enforcement officials and charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide after driving over dozens of people in a Christmas parade.
“A lone subject intentionally drove his maroon SUV through barricades into a crowd of people that was celebrating the Waukesha Christmas Parade which resulted in killing five individuals and injuring 48 additional individuals,” Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson said at a press conference. “I just received information that two of the 48 are children and they’re in critical condition.”
The suspect, whom The Daily Wire is not naming due to company policy on not publishing names and photographs of alleged mass murderers, has a lengthy criminal history that spans decades.
The suspect “has been charged with or convicted on an array of charges over the past 22 years, including battery, domestic violence, cocaine possession and resisting arrest in several jurisdictions in Wisconsin,” The New York Times reported. “He has served at least two jail sentences and spent years on probation and in court-mandated work-release and anger management programs …”
Earlier this month, the suspect was arrested for allegedly punching his child’s mother in the face and hitting her with his car at a gas station. The criminal complaint from the incident says that “officers observed tire tracks on her left pants leg.”
The suspect was later released on $1,000 bail, which the Milwaukee Co. District Attorney said in statement today was “inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges and the pending charges” against the suspect. “The bail recommendation in this case is not consistent with the approach of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office toward matters involving violent crime, nor was it consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant prior to setting of bail,” the statement added.