Jamaal Bowman Endorsed a Gen Z Group Calling To End Cash Bail, While Results of the Policy Plague His District

Yonkers residents were found dismembered, and the suspects were released without bail

Jamaal Bowman (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
April 5, 2024

Two months ago, blood and human flesh were found in the pipes and toilets of a Long Island home, the inhabitants of which were arrested and charged with evidence tampering after the dismembered body parts of two Yonkers, N.Y., residents were discovered in a nearby park. Within a week, the suspects were back on the streets after being released on cashless bail, a move that prompted fear and criticism from the Yonkers community.

The town's representative in Congress, Jamaal Bowman (D.), did not comment on the grisly crime—or the fact that the suspects were released without bail. He did, however, praise a progressive youth group lobbying against cash bail in a Sunday video. Bowman encouraged Voters of Tomorrow to grow "to the millions" in order to tackle pressing issues for young people. Abolishing cash bail is a main priority for the group, according to their "Gen Z Agenda."

"We got to grow our numbers. Voters of Tomorrow needs to grow to millions of people from across the country at the table making legislation, organizing communities, holding local elected officials accountable, and ensuring that the resources go where they need to go. Young people have been revolutionaries throughout American history. We need it again right now because we got people in power that ain’t really doing the job," Bowman said.

"If the ‘justice’ system has policies or laws in place that have a monetary value tied to them, then those policies only apply to low-income people. No one should have to remain in prison for the duration of their case just because they do not have the financial means to pay their bail. Cash bail only applies to low-income people and we need equal justice," the group wrote in their "Gen Z Agenda."

Voters of Tomorrow did not return a request for comment.

The "Squad" member’s embrace of the progressive group reflects his commitment to far-left policies amid a contentious primary battle with Westchester county executive George Latimer. Bowman, for example, has spearheaded the progressive wing of the Democratic Party’s movement against Israel amid their war with Hamas. Latimer is a pro-Israel Democrat whom local rabbis encouraged to run, citing Bowman's hostility toward the Jewish state. In the wake of Hamas's Oct. 7 attack, Bowman has accused Israel of "mass murder," "genocide," and "ethnic cleansing."

One man assaulted a police officer in Yonkers, N.Y.—Bowman’s hometown—in September and was released shortly after without bail. Johnny McCray, a repeat felon out on parole for attempted robbery, broke the nose of a police officer who responded to a medical emergency involving McCray. McCray was charged with felony second degree assault on a police officer and other charges, but was released after his bail hearing after apologizing to the county judge for his crime.

Yonkers mayor Mike Spano, a Democrat, was baffled by the judge’s decision to release the repeat felon back into society unpunished.

"The justice system is consistently bailing out criminal offenders," Spano said. "This Officer is now out on leave and not able to do his job, while this offender is able to continue to make a living. How can any reasonable person expect that we can protect the public if we can’t even protect our Police Officers?"

Those who have "proven to hurt and plague the community" belong in jail "period," Spano added.

The two slain Yonkers residents were found in February dismembered in nearby Babylon, N.Y. The four suspects, Steven Brown, Jeffrey Mackey, Amanda Wallace, and Alexis Nieves, who were charged with concealment of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, and hindering prosecution, were released without bail. Three of the four suspects admitted to living in a home deemed "uninhabitable" with blood and flesh stuffed in the drains, pipes, and shower. They surrendered their passports and were fit with GPS monitoring.

Residents near Babylon expressed concern about the presence of the suspects in their community.

"No bail, no nothing ... I'm aggravated. I can't even believe this is happening," said Carol Maier, a resident of Babylon.

"I mean, when I grew up, you were innocent until proven guilty. I don't know what they have on these people. If they think they might have done it, I think they should be locked up," said local business owner James Litrenta.

Westchester County resident and New York City restaurant owner Alan Rosen lamented the cashless bail laws and said he and his employees feel "uneasy and unsafe."

"[Cashless bail] gives judges the discretion to put people back in jail. We're letting a few bad apples spoil the bunch," Rosen said.

'When did it become OK to shoplift a pharmacy? In what society is that OK? People shouldn't be able to shoplift at CVS," Rosen added. "Enough! There are no consequences. That's part of the problem."

Bowman, who did not return a request for comment, embraced progressive public safety solutions as recently as this year. He held a January press conference with a group called Journey for Justice Alliance, a progressive group working to defund the police. The two-term congressman unveiled his "Equity for All Resolution," legislation which endorses Journey for Justice Alliance and its platform, "Equity or Else," which demands lawmakers "reallocate/divest police budgets" and "institute policing-free schooling with no school resource officers."

Bowman during the press conference said he takes "marching orders" from the anti-police group. He also lauded the group and other activist groups for making his job "easy," saying he can merely adopt their proposals rather than craft his own.