A police officer had been shot and killed, and the message from New York City’s mayor, who had been perceived as antipolice and weak on crime, was a tough one, reports the Wall Street Journal. “I'm a progressive, I'm a humanitarian, but I can tell you that some people are irredeemable,” said Bill de Blasio on Friday. De Blasio is a liberal Democrat who ran for office promising to end years of law-enforcement policies he said unfairly targeted racial minorities. Now he is striking a tough tone on crime, saying judges should be permitted to assess an individual's “dangerousness” before releasing him or her through the kind of alternative-to-incarceration programs the mayor has supported.
Tyrone Howard, who is accused of killing police officer Randolph Holder, avoided prison time when he was assigned to such a program after he was convicted on a drug charge earlier this year. If such a measure were in place, de Blasio said, Holder would be alive. “Some people are just hardened criminals,” he said. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who styled himself as a law-and-order mayor, said, “I have no argument with him if he's evolving.” Justine Luongo of the Legal Aid Society, called the mayor's proposal “a reactionary response” that would make it more difficult for the poor and racial minorities accused of nonviolent offenses to make bail. She said the proposal could “undo decades of work,” adding, “There will be more people in jail who shouldn't be there.”