A New York City woman who has become the poster child for local anger about a bail reform law set to go into effect on New Year’s Day was arrested again on New Year’s Eve, marking her third arrest in the span of less than a week, according to the New York Post.
Tiffany Harris, who made news for committing two separate attacks in the span of three days, was arrested for a third time on New Year’s Eve for allegedly failing to comply with the terms of her supervised release — terms that were already the subject of intense public criticism.
Harris was initially arrested on Friday for allegedly slapping a trio of Orthodox Jewish women in Crown Heights in what police allege was an anti-Semitic hate crime. She was immediately released without bail as judges prepared to implement the city’s new bail reform law, which requires judges to set most criminal defendants free without posting bail during their pretrial phase.
Harris was promptly arrested again on Sunday for allegedly punching a 35-year-old woman in the face. It is not known if this alleged victim was Jewish or if the alleged attack was motivated by anti-Semitic bias. However, regardless, Harris was once again almost immediately released without bail, which prompted widespread criticism in local media. Harris was the subject of a front page story in the New York Post on Tuesday.
Even the New York’s Democratic leadership, which pushed for the bail reform package, was clearly nervous about the impact her story would have on the public’s perception of the bail reform law. Democratic assemblyman Brian Barnwell, for instance, told the Post, “It’s a balancing task. You have to give judges the power to consider the dangerousness of an individual, and this is a case that highlights the need for this.”
The impetus for Harris’ third arrest was her alleged failure to keep an appointment with Brooklyn Justice Initiatives, which was set to manage her supervised release. When the center became aware of Harris’ alleged absence, a bench warrant was issued for Harris’ arrest and she was picked up shortly after 10pm on New Year’s Eve at the Hotel Omega.
Harris’ lawyer claims that she was only arrested the third time because of the intense negative publicity that her first two releases generated. According to Harris’ lawyer, “She went to the office as instructed, gave the information she needed, clearly she wanted to leave. Anyone would want to leave in that circumstance, no one felt she did anything wrong.”
Harris is expected to be arraigned on these charges Wednesday morning.