Joint Diverse Bar Associations' Response to Public Statements Regarding the Honorable Evelyn LaPorte
The Diverse Bar Associations of New York City are saddened and appalled at the tragic murder of New York City Police Officer Peter Figoski and extend deepest sympathies and prayers to Officer Figoski’s family, the officers and staff of the 75th Precinct, the New York City Police Department, and the residents of the City of New York.
In response to this tragedy, the Honorable Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Councilman Peter F. Vallone, Jr. have unfairly portrayed Criminal Court Judge Evelyn LaPorte as the culprit, i.e., implying that Judge LaPorte’s actions should have prevented the crimes leading up to Officer Figoski’s death. Far from this mischaracterization of Judge LaPorte, she is a former Brooklyn prosecutor with a reputation for toughness and integrity. Prior to the shooting of Officer Figoski, Judge LaPorte had the responsibility to arraign Lamont Pride on November 4, 2011 and appears to have done so in a manner consistent with common judicial practice.
Arraignment judges, like the Honorable Evelyn LaPorte, make bail determinations based on the information provided to them by the prosecutor’s office and defense counsel; judges are not required to independently gather such information as suggested by Mayor Bloomberg in his criticisms of Judge LaPorte. Based on information publicly available, there was limited evidence against Pride to justify detainment. Notably, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes does not criticize Judge LaPorte’s bail decision in this case. On the contrary, DA Hynes remarked upon her record of being a fair and competent judge.