Miami GOP Mayor: ‘No Cash Bail Is Creating Lawlessness’ In U.S. Cities
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Flanked by other mayors, Francis Suarez, Mayor of Miami and President of The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), speaks during a news conference at the 90th Winter Meeting of USCM on January 19, 2022 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Miami Republican Mayor Francis Suarez said Sunday that no cash bail policies in cities and counties across the country are contributing to rising crime.

On a panel of mayors from major cities appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, Suarez, who also serves as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said that bail reform has created “lawlessness.” He said that the lax punishment for criminals has led to increased crimes like petty theft and harming the economy.

“What I’m focusing on is that the no cash bail is creating lawlessness in a lot of our cities,” said Suarez. “What’s happening is, for example, people get out right away, they’re not even, you know, they don’t even have to post bail. So they’re able to get out right away. And so we’re seeing someone go into like a CVS, for example, and take thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, which is causing a CVSs to close, which hurts the, you know, the rest of the city, but that’s not particularly related to, to the gun violence issue. It’s related more to petty crime, which is creating lawlessness in some of our cities.”

Suarez also touted his policing policies in Miami. “We are funding our police,” he said. “A lot of cities cut into the defunding police movement. And we’re seeing [police funding] as a bipartisan issue.”

Last week, some Houston bar and restaurant owners started sleeping in their places of business to deter criminals, citing the city’s lax bail policies.

“I have been burglarized 15 times in the last year,” Lindsey Rae, the owner of Two-Headed Dog, said during a recent city council meeting, via the New York Post. “We’re seeing, if they are getting caught, they’re getting re-released because of the cash bond issues we’re having,” she added. “They can come back and rob us again.”

A 2021 investigation from ABC affiliate KTRK found that Houston’s bail policies had allowed more criminals back onto the streets. The outlet found that in 2011, just 3.5% of cases filed in Harris County court resulted in the defendant being released on felony bond; in 2021, the defendant was released in 18.8% of cases, nearly six times as often.

The probe also found that criminals committed more crimes while out on bail. In 2011, just 3.5% of cases involved a defendant who was already out on at least one existing felony bond; in 2021, that number rose to 19%. Of those cases, 968 accused felons allegedly committed four or more new crimes since being released on bond. One case investigated by the outlet found that the offender was out on 13 separate bonds.

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