Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder looks on as County Executive...

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder looks on as County Executive Bruce Blakeman signs the executive order on Wednesday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Nassau Police Department will begin disclosing whether a suspect has been rearrested after being released without bail from a previous charge — part of the county’s continued push to discredit the state’s cashless bail law.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, a Republican who took office Jan. 1, signed an executive order in Garden City Wednesday directing the department to make public a daily report with the pending criminal case data and bail status of those rearrested.

"The people are fed up and want change," said Blakeman, who traveled to Albany last week to lobby state lawmakers to repeal the law, which eliminated bail on most misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes. "They want to go back to normal."

But State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said the data does not justify repealing the law.

"The GOP has not been able to tell me the statistics on how the bail system was working as it was before," Cousins (D-Yonkers) said in an interview Wednesday with the Albany Times Union. "They've just been pandering to people's fears and not being honest … Everyone wants criminals to be punished. But there needs to be a real conversation about public safety and the best approach"

Blakeman's executive order cites state statistics showing that between July 2020 and June 2021, roughly 20% of cases not eligible for bail led to someone being arrested, either for a misdemeanor or a felony.

Most of those rearrests, however, were for nonviolent crimes.

A Times Union analysis of the state data found that 2% of the nearly 100,000 defendants arrested during that period were rearrested for a violent felony and less than half of one percent — 429 cases — involved an individual being rearrested for a felony with a gun.

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, who supports repealing the law, said there have been 13 arrests in the county so far this year for possession of an illegal firearm with six of those suspects released without bail.

"This year we have made more gun arrests in this county then we did all last month," Ryder said.

However, several of the cases, cited by Ryder at a news conference last week, involve suspects charged with possession of a loaded firearm — which remains a bail eligible offense. In each of those six cases, the judges appear to have released the suspect without bail at their own discretion.

Last year, more than 88% of the 11,000 suspects arrested in Nassau were released without bail, including more than 300 following a weapons-related offense, officials said. County police said there's no immediate way to determine how many of those cases relate to bail reform.

Blakeman said he knows of few cases in which dangerous suspects have been released without bail at a judge's own discretion." Probably on one hand I could count," he said, without providing specific numbers.

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