Paterson leaders applaud new rules to help keep gun crime suspects in jail

As shootings and gun violence continue to wreak havoc on New Jersey communities, a bipartisan effort to crack down on the violence by keeping violent offenders behind bars was approved by Gov. Phil Murphy.

News 12 Staff

Jul 11, 2022, 11:29 PM

Updated 704 days ago

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As shootings and gun violence continue to wreak havoc on New Jersey communities, a bipartisan effort to crack down on the violence by keeping violent offenders behind bars was approved by Gov. Phil Murphy.
But will the new rules help stop gun violence in cities like Paterson?
“Gun violence in Paterson is crazy,” says resident Edismir Garcia. “You really got to be careful out here.”
Few people in Paterson know that better than Garcia. He was sitting with friends and his cousin on his front stoop across the street from East Side High School early Sunday morning when he was shot.
“As soon as the guy pointed the gun and I saw the flash, I knew I was shot. So I felt it right away,” he says.
Garcia was shot in the arm, and three bullet fragments tore into his side. His 21-year-old cousin the family called “Gobby” was killed.
“I love him, he’s like my brother to me. He’s very special… It’s just crazy what happens here,” Garcia says.
At Paterson City Hall on Monday, law enforcement and elected officials applauded the new rules that the governor signed on June 30.
“Violent offenders should be kept behind bars,” Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh says.
The new law makes it easier to keep people suspected of gun crimes behind bars. It closes a loophole in the bail reform laws enacted under former Gov. Chris Christie.
“This is not a Republican issue, this is not a Democratic issue, this is not a white/Black issue. Bullets do not have tags on them. They can hit anybody at any time,” says state Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly.
More than 50 people have been shot in Paterson this year, with 14 being killed. But officials say that shootings are down by half compared to the same time last year. Paterson police say they have been discouraging crowds from gathering on street corners in areas known for crime.
“It seems very simple but keeping those numbers off the hotspot corners within the city has been, I think, a big help in getting our numbers down this year,” says Paterson Police Capt. Patrick Murray.
Murray says most of the illegal guns in Paterson are trafficked from southern states.


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