The Jewish community is scared: “The release of the perpetrator is terribly disheartening to the community — is unnerving, is causing significant anxiety.”
The New York Post reported a Bronx judge released the man accused of committing numerous Jewish hate crimes because of New York’s awful bail-reform laws:
The suspect, 29-year-old Jordan Burnette, was granted supervised release by Judge Tara Collins in Bronx Criminal Court — hours after he was ordered held on bail on 42 charges stemming from his alleged 11-day crime spree, said Patrice O’Shaughnessy, a spokeswoman for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
Under New York state law, a suspect hit with Burnette’s charges cannot be held on bail.
But that didn’t stop Judge Louis Nock, who earlier Sunday ordered that Burnette be held in lieu of $20,000 — even though prosecutors insisted the man had to be sprung under the state’s controversial bail reform laws.
Nock stood firm in his ruling because he believed “the ‘shattering of glass’ constitutes a violent felony.”
Assistant District Attorney Theresa Gottlieb told Judge Nock the office “probably would have asked for substantial bail before January of 2020” due to the many attacks allegedly committed by Burnette.
Gottlieb conceded: “The legislature did not include hate crimes in its revision of bail reform and, under the law as it exists today, this is not eligible. We will not violate the law.”
The attacks happened at the Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC), Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale, and Young Israel of Riverdale and Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR).
Burnette allegedly poured hand sanitizer all over “prayer books from Adath Israel” and threw them into the woods. He is also “accused of shattering synagogue doors and windows, smashing multiple car windows.”
“People are scared, terrified…”
The attacks have frightened the Jewish community:
“We were terrorized, frightened for ten days,” Rabbi Levi Shemtov of Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale told The Algemeiner. “Finally, when we heard shabbos [Saturday] morning that they caught him, we all felt a sense of relief. Now this morning, as Riverdale is getting up, everybody’s calling me, texting me, emailing me — we’re back to square one, and it’s even worse. Because now he has a path to do whatever he wants.”
Shemtov said he was especially concerned upon hearing that Burnette lives in the Riverdale community, close to the four Jewish institutions he targeted.
“People are scared, terrified — and there’s a lot of anger, a lot of frustration,” he said.
The Bronx District Attorney’s office confirmed to Silber that “supervised release in New York City means you’re released with no supervisors.”
Mitch Silber, the executive director of the Community Security Initiative, shared Shemtov’s feelings: “The release of the perpetrator is terribly disheartening to the community — is unnerving, is causing significant anxiety.”
“He could walk out of his apartment, and walk to any one of the locations that he attacked, and there would be no consequence for him to do that.”
“The community is trying to figure out how do they go about their daily business, visiting their shuls, taking children to day school, in an environment where this individual essentially has no prohibitions on his movements,” Silber added. “Vigilance is the watchword.”
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