Malliotakis, Zeldin, along with law enforcement officials, other local politicians call for bail reform and parole board changes at rally in New Dorp

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Rep. Nicole Malliotakis and gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin rallied outside the 122nd Precinct in New Dorp on Saturday afternoon, slamming bail reform and accusing former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Kathy Hochul for freeing “cop killers” from prison.

Representatives of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, community members and a contingent of elected officials from Staten Island also attended.

Their message was the parole board in New York and bail reform must be overhauled. The rally also served as a campaign stop for Malliotakis, Zeldin and other Republican election candidates, all urging the restoration of balance, law and order.

Malliotakis said current Democratic leaders have “pampered and emboldened” criminals by refusing to fix the “disastrous” bail law.

“Are we going to be serious about law and order and support our law enforcement,” Malliotakis said. “[And] give them the tools they need to keep us safe.

Representative Nicole Malliotakis speaks at a rally in New Dorp on Saturday afternoon. (Staten Island Advance/David Luces)

She said the parole board has continually released dangerous people onto the streets: George Willis, who killed two young Staten Island women 39 years ago and was released from prison in June, and Chris Patterson, who murdered his fiancée at their Bulls Head home in 1988 and walked out in March.

Other speakers reiterated how dozens of “cop killers” have been released from prison since 2017, blaming the former and current administration.

“What is the message sent to the criminal? That you can kill a cop and you don’t have to serve a life sentence. It reinforces the attacks we see on our men and women in blue – they don’t feel like there are sanctions,” she said.

Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, said it sends a clear message to criminals that killing and assaulting law enforcement and citizens is okay.

“Let’s start thinking about the victims of crimes and not the people who commit the crimes,” DiGiacomo said.

Zeldin had similar sentiments, saying New York should pass a law enforcement bill of rights, and criticized New York City for seeking qualified immunity.

“We should find ways to [law enforcement] more resources,” Zeldin said.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate has stressed the need to change the parole board system

“Right now it’s a majority vote, it needs to be changed to a unanimous vote. We need to allow victims and their families to be able to provide testimony that will be considered by the parole board,” he said.

Additionally, Zeldin said there should be an appeal process that victims and their families are part of so that their voices are heard.

“Cashless bail in this state does not give judges discretion in cases of dangerousness – even New York City Mayor Eric Adams has said there should be a special session and the state legislature should legislate to give judges discretion,” he said. “He’s right. I’m a Republican, he’s a Democrat and we agree, it’s OK.

Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R-East Shore/South Brooklyn), Councilman David Carr (R-Mid-Island), Senator Andrew Lanza (R-South Shore), Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R-South Shore) and other Republican candidates were at Saturday’s rally.

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