Council Member Rory Lancman debated Assistant District Attorney James Quinn on the future of Rikers Island Wednesday. // Eagle photo by David Brand 

Lancman, Legal Aid Condemn ADA’s Browder Comments

In the days since Council Member Rory Lancman and Queens Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney James Quinn debated about the future of Rikers Island, one specific exchange about Kalief Browder has garnered national attention.

While defending the proposal to close jails on Rikers Island and open four “borough-based” jails, Lancman — a potential candidate in the 2019 Queens DA race — frequently described how the bail system keeps low-income defendants in detention simply because they cannot afford to the pay bail.

He cited the experience of Browder, a 16-year-old from the Bronx who was arrested for stealing a backpack and held on Rikers for three years — including two in solitary confinement — because he could not afford to pay bail. Ultimately, Browder’s C Felony charges were dismissed.

Two years after his release, Browder committed suicide.

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The Queensbridge Houses, a NYCHA development in Long Island City//Metro Centric

Queensbridge Raid Nets 22 — Including 3 for Weed Possession

A year-long investigation concluded Wednesday with the arrest of 22 people inside the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, including 3 for low-level marijuana possession.

The Queens District Attorney’s office announced the bust in a press release Thursday morning, which listed the names and charges for the 22 people arrested.

Of the 22 defendants, one was charged with criminal possession of a firearm and another with possession of an undisclosed weapon. Nine are charged with 7th-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance — the lowest-level criminal drug possession charge —and three are charged with marijuana possession.

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