When crime came up during the recent New York gubernatorial debate, incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul told her Republican challenger Lee Zeldin, “I don’t know why that’s so important to you.” With murder, rape, and other violence plaguing the Big Apple under Hochul’s tenure, she made clear she does not want to talk about crime.
But the voters headed to the polls to cast their vote for New York’s governor today apparently care. In the Empire State, which has been a Democrat stronghold since the early ’80s, polling shows Zeldin has narrowed his once-19-point deficit to just 7 points. The latest survey from the Trafalgar Group — which has proved to be more reliable than most other polls, tools that tend to shape rather than reflect public opinion to aid Democrats and elicit campaign donations — showed the race at a tie.
Thanks to New York’s cashless bail laws, violent criminals have been free to roam the streets and commit even more crimes, resulting in murder or trauma to innocent people. Here are just a few examples from recent weeks.
Estranged Husband Executes Wife
Just last week, a man was charged with shooting his estranged wife in front of her children less than 24 hours after he was released from jail without bail. According to the New York Post, the accused perpetrator Adam Bennefield was arrested earlier this year after allegedly beating the same woman, Keaira Bennefield, which was caught on surveillance cameras in her house. The husband was charged with third-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree menacing, and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.
“He was arraigned in Cheektowaga Town Court on Oct. 4 but was released because state law prevented the judge from setting bail due to the low-level of the charges,” the New York Post reported. Following his release from jail without bail, Bennefield allegedly “ambushed [his wife] on a road and gunned her down” while she was taking her children, between the ages of 6 months and 9 years, to school.
McDonald’s Axe Attacker Arrested Again
Thirty-one-year-old Michael Palacios was arrested after witnesses said he wielded an axe at other customers and destroyed property in a McDonald’s in New York City, an ordeal that was caught on video. Palacios “was seen arguing with a group of men before pulling an ax out of his backpack and smashing a glass partition and pointing the ax at various customers,” Fox News reported. Despite this, he was released from jail without bail.
After his release, Palacios was reportedly arrested again “for graffiti, stealing a bike and evading police.” But once again, he was released from jail without bail.
Homeless Man Murders Father of Two
Alvin Charles, 43, a homeless man, was charged with murder for the fatal stabbing of a father of two, 43-year-old Tommy Bailey. At the time of the murder, Charles was on supervised release without bail “for allegedly stabbing a straphanger on an A train in Brooklyn” back in 2021.
“Brooklyn prosecutors had asked that Charles be held on $50,000 bail in that case, but Judge Jessica G. Earle-Gargan instead ordered that he be freed on supervised release,” according to the New York Post. “He was set to appear in court in the case later this month.”
Bailey’s neighbor Jaylin said that “if they [had] done something about it back then, Tommy would have still been alive and we wouldn’t be talking right now. His death is on their hands. No common sense. That’s sad.”
Hochul’s New York
Hochul doesn’t know why crime is “so important” to her opponent, but these examples make it obvious: Cashless bail letting criminals out on the streets has been a disaster and led to the murder of innocent New Yorkers the governor is supposed to serve.
The people of New York have the power to change this today though. They can vote for the status quo — someone who will uphold radical cashless bail and let more criminals back onto the streets. Or they can put a stop to Democrats’ reign over the Empire State and vote for a candidate who is adamantly against this bail radicalism and understands why keeping New Yorkers safe is indeed so important.