NYC Mayor-elect Eric Adams continues to push bail reform changes



Mayor-elect Eric Adams continued his push for changes to bail reform, citing the Bronx teen charged with killing a 21-year-old after receiving probation for an armed-robbery shooting — a tragic story portrayed on The Post’s front page Tuesday.

“If you are a person that discharges a weapon or a person — that on multiple occasions — you were found to carry a weapon, that should be taken into account,” Adams said Wednesday on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show.”

Under current state law judges are not allowed to consider the risks a defendant poses to public safety when setting bail for new criminal charges.

“I’m talking about dangerous crimes,” Adams explained.

“I’m not talking about someone who steals food because they are hungry. I’m talking about those who are carrying out those specific violent crimes like the young…21-year-old shot in The Bronx by a 17-year-old. He assaulted his mother with a weapon and then he was released and discharged a weapon and took the life of an innocent person,” Adams said.

The New York Post's coverage of Saikou Koma's murder.
Adams referred to the shooting death of 21-year-old Saikou Koma, which made the Post’s front page on Tuesday.

The retired NYPD captain suggested advocates of bail reform — who believe the discretion would invite bias because some judges see black and brown defendants as more dangerous than their white counterparts — don’t understand the devastating impact of gun violence.

“Those who want to romanticize public safety, they’re going to always be against my position. I know what it is to knock on doors and see what victims are going through with gun violence,” Adams said.

“These cases are happening over and over again, repeated offenders with gun related crimes,” he said.

Steven Mendez's mug shot.
Koma was allegedly shot by 17-year-old Steven Mendez, who was on probation for a previous deadly weapons charge.

The outgoing Brooklyn borough president- – who won the crowded Democratic primary on his unique message of public safety and justice — acknowledged he disagrees with top state lawmakers on the issue.

“We have some great leaders in Albany. Carl Heastie is an amazing leader up there, Andrea Stewart Cousins. So this is just a philosophical difference I have with those that believe differently than where I am on this case. There are many things we agree on but gun violence is a real issue in our city,” Adams said.

Heastie, the speaker of the Assembly, and Stewart Cousins, the majority leader of the Senate, are fellow Democrats but have opposed changes to bail reform.

Eric Adams
Mayor-elect Adams suggested that those in favor of bail reform do not understand the devastation of gun violence.
Getty Images

Adams said racial discrimination in law enforcement and the courts are real, but should be addressed without impacting public safety.

“Let’s fix the bias in the court system. but we can’t do it a the expense of those who are innocent people losing their lives,” he said.


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