Ridiculous and outrageous.
Those were the words Mayor Bill de Blasio had for a Manhattan supreme court justice a day after she tore into the mayor and his police commissioner following their criticisms of how she handled the case of the man accused of killing an NYPD officer.
“I think that’s outrageous and I don’t know this judge. By the way, the judge attacked Commissioner Bratton too and I think she owes him an apology. This is ludicrous.” Mr. de Blasio fumed in a radio interview with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer. “This judge was part of what happened here. It went horribly wrong. The judge apologized profusely, now suddenly turns the tables. That’s ridiculous.”
The judge, Patricia Nuñez, charged that Mr. de Blasio needed to look himself in the “mirror” after he knocked her for diverting Tyrone Howard, the 31-year-old man charged with killing Officer Randolph Holder, to a drug treatment program instead of prison. “Shame on those politicians who now point fingers and try to blame the judges for a program they themselves wanted,” she said, noting she wanted to “correct what was a false narrative in the press begun by the mayor of New York and his police commissioner, who made statements without checking the facts.”
“I would suggest that the mayor look into a mirror and ask himself whether or not it is his own policies he’s in favor of, whether those policies make someone think they can shoot a cop, do not blame the judges,” she added.
Following Holder’s death near an East Harlem housing project, Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Bratton said that Mr. Howard, who Ms. Nuñez sentenced yesterday to 12 years in prison for violating the terms of the alternative court program, was a hardened and violent criminal who should not have been allowed back on the street. Mr. Howard had numerous arrests for parole violations and drug-related offenses, but he was never before charged with any violent crime. Prosecutors, she said, never brought up his alleged involvement in a 2009 gunfight.
Mr. de Blasio, a supporter of prison reform, reiterated today that he believed judges should consider the dangerousness of an individual when setting bail.
He told Mr. Lehrer that there were “many instances of Mr. Howard violating parole and probation orders,” adding it was clear this was “someone who was not going to play by the rules.”