Mitchell on Shootings: ‘We Can’t Control What the Judges Do’
With nine reports of shots fired or confirmed shootings in New Bedford in just the past week alone, gun violence is quickly becoming even more of a concern across the city.
In his weekly appearance on WBSM, Mayor Jon Mitchell said he's very concerned about it, especially what happened last Sunday, when there were six reports of shots fired and one person injured by gunfire all before 5 a.m. Mitchell said he knows some sensitive information about the investigation and that he feels confident police are on top of it, but that he's disheartened by how often judges release dangerous repeat criminals back out onto the streets once they're awaiting trial.
"We have a pretty good handle on who the small group of dangerous people are in the city, but what we can't control is what the judges do," Mitchell said.
Mitchell says the biggest problem is that the judges who are releasing the criminals aren't from the area, and don't understand who they can be lenient with and who they need to be stricter about keeping off the streets.
"Because the judges have a proclivity toward avoiding the appearance that they're punishing somebody before they've gone to trial," he said.
The mayor pointed to the case of Rayshond Lewis, the 19-year-old reputed gang member arrested for the third time this year after almost strangling his ex-girlfriend to death Sunday as an example of the criminals that should be held while awaiting trial but are instead released on bail.