As state Senator Elgie Sims put it himself,
"By him being released on bail, he's free to do this again."
Yes, yes he is.
It gets better. Sims further argued that the incident was a,
"perfect example of how cash bail doesn't make people more safe."
How could he say that?
Let's back up for a second. Here is why people like Sims supported the elimination of cash bail.
The practice has long been controversial with criminal justice reform advocates who call cash bail a "poor people's tax" that has had a disproportionately negative impact on people of color. It leaves those who can't come up with the money in jail for weeks or longer or even accepting plea deals as a way to get out.
"It leaves those who can't come up with the money in jail for weeks or longer..."
Keep that in mind.
His explanation for why he is so upset that the suspect in his case, Michael Hoyle, was released on bail is this.
In other words, Sims felt that Hoyle should not have been released, period, meaning Sims believed Hoyle met the law's criteria in the sense that he posed a threat to public safety or was a flight risk.
Okay, so what exactly has Hoyle been charged with?
Police arrested Hoyle nearby, and prosecutors charged him with unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a firearm with a revoked Firearm Owner's ID card, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. According to police, there's no evidence to suggest that Hoyle targeted Sims because of his position in the senate.
He appears to be a small business owner and so probably an unlikely flight risk. As for the charges, while they were felonies, and could carry a prison sentence of between 1 and 3 years, his alleged crimes were non-violent.
What Sims is saying is that he believes it is a better outcome to lock this guy up in jail for weeks or longer rather than have a system like bail in which he could be released with some incentives to behave and show up for his eventual trial.
He's against people accused of nonviolent crimes being locked up in jail because they can't make bond, but perfectly okay with people accused of nonviolent crimes being locked up in jail because Sims and his family were the victims.
"The trauma does not just extend to me," Sims told the newspaper. "My wife has not slept a full night since this happened. Those traumas are real."
Yes, they are, and I agree our entire justice system could use an overhaul, but justice is not served when we confine people purely in the interest of "equity."
Let's reform it all, but first climb down off your soapbox and turn down the moralizing and let's have a real conversation about how to deal with cases like Hoyle's so that we can properly balance the safety of the public and the rights of the accused, no matter who the victim is.
(Shout out to @austinh for the tip!)