Hawley pushes for bail reform changes following fatal shooting of Rochester police officer

Posted 25 July 2022 at 3:21 pm

Press Release, Assemblyman Steve Hawley

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is renewing his call to restore judicial discretion by rolling back the state’s bail reform law following a series of violent incidents that occurred in the state last week, including the shooting of two Rochester Police Department officers and the attempted stabbing of gubernatorial candidate and Congressman Lee Zeldin.

Hawley was especially concerned by news that Zeldin’s attacker was released from custody following the assault due to the state’s bail reform law, which considers assault in the 2nd degree, the crime Zeldin’s assailant was charged with, to be a non-violent felony.

While the suspect would later be arrested under a federal charge for assaulting a member of Congress using a dangerous weapon, Hawley is deeply troubled by the fact that in the absence of federal action, state law would allow the attacker to continue walking freely today.

“Horrific incidents like these seem to be happening more and more often in our state,” said Hawley. “This isn’t normal, and we cannot continue to allow bail reform to tie the hands of our judges and further erode respect for laws and law enforcement.

“Harmful actions must have consequences, and bail reform has been letting dangerous individuals get away with far too much for far too long. We cannot allow regular violence against our people, our leaders, and our law enforcement to be accepted as a fact of life in New York, because people deserve to feel safe in the communities they call home.”