Mayor Bloomberg lashed out today at the Brooklyn judge who freed accused cop killer Lamont Pride, saying she could have made one phone call that could have taken him off the streets.RELATED: Why Was He Still Free? A Clue in a Shot to the Foot
"The reason he was not behind bars the last time is that a judge here in New York not only didn't put him behind bars, she didn't even think it was appropriate for bail. And he had a long history of not showing up. He had a long criminal record," the mayor said, visibly upset.
He was referring to Judge Eveyln Laporte, who allowed Pride to go free in his own recognizance when he was arrested on a drug bust last month, ignoring a $2,500 bail request from the DA's office and a warrant from North Carolina.
"If the judge didn't understand the warrant from North Carolina, the judge could have picked up the phone," said the mayor.
Bloomberg disclosed that Brooklyn DA Charles J. Hynes' office made a second bail request that Laporte also rejected.
"The district attorney did seem to try to get bail and came back again when the judge said no bail," the mayor said.
"But if you're talking about somebody who the rap sheet in front of you shows is potentially a dangerous person, has a gun, has a criminal history, common sense says don't let him out until you make one phone call. It's not a lot of work to do to protect the public. It wasn't done here, plain and simple."
Bloomberg made his comments during a press conference about another undercover operation to root out illegal gun sales, this time over the Internet.
When a reporter asked if the city might have overstepped its bounds in sending private investigators to Ohio and others states at a cost of $290,000, the mayor couldn't wait to respond:
"Miss, Peter Figoski was our police officer. We didn't overstep anything. If I had to spend double that money to save one police officer's life I would do it instantly," he declared, his voice rising.
Bloomberg has been pushing for stricter guns laws for years with limited success in Congress.
"Maybe you show a picture of Peter Figoski and his daughters,'' he said of legislators who won't balk the powerful National Rifle Association. "Maybe that'll get them to do it."