ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Assembly Republicans and members of law enforcement are calling for action in the wake of an increase in certain crimes.
Data collected from the Assembly Minority’s office shows an increase in the percentage of year-to-date homicides, burglaries and shootings in cities from Albany to Buffalo.
“While we can’t say exactly what’s causing a spike in crime, in my mind, I think in our conference’s mind, it’s hard not to include that it hasn’t been a result of the endless pro-criminal policies that have passed in Albany over the past few years,” said Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay.
According to the Assembly Minority Office of Public Affairs, year-to-date homicides in Albany have increased by 800 percent, and in Buffalo, they’ve increased by 88 percent.
“We need to change our priorities, and we need to change the direction that our state’s going in, and frankly, we have to do that immediately,” Barclay said.
Republicans and law enforcement officials have pushed back against the state’s bail reforms and the lack of judicial discretion in determining a defendant’s “dangerousness.” Pro bail reform advocates argue that’s not what’s behind the spike.
“I just wish that everybody would just agree that things are not right. We’re in the middle of a big uprising. One of the biggest civil uprisings in a generation and Republicans are trying to demonize what Democrats are doing… all we want is fairness. We’re not asking for anarchy,” said VOCAL-NY Community Leader Roger Clark.
About a week ago, tweaks to bail reforms went into effect making more high level offenses bail-eligible. Advocates called it a roll-back, while some Republicans said it did not go far enough.