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May 6, 2021 5:33 pm
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Community ‘Living in Fear’ After Release of Alleged Attacker of Four Riverdale Synagogues, Says Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief

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Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief Dovid Efune appears on i24 News. Photo: Screenshot.

Jewish families in New York’s Riverdale neighborhood have been forced to live in fear after the pre-trial release of the alleged perpetrator behind a string of antisemitic rock-throwing attacks on four local synaoguges, Algemeiner editor-in-chief Dovid Efune said during an interview with i24 News on Wednesday.

“The community sought reassurance from the police department and local officials. They were activated. They caught the guy, but shortly afterwards he was released onto the street. And that is really frustrating for the community,” Efune said.

Jordan Burnette, 29, was arrested Saturday on 42 charges in connection with the spree of attacks in the Bronx borough of New York, in which over several days he smashed doors and windows at the Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC), Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale, Young Israel of Riverdale and Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR).

During a Sunday hearing, he was first ordered held on $20,000 bail by a Bronx Criminal Court judge, who said that even under New York state’s recent bail reform law, the shattering of glass windows could qualify as a violent felony and would justify setting bail.

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But at a later hearing, another judge ruled that the charges did not qualify for bail under the 2020 law, and granted Burnette supervised release — which the head of a leading initiative that helps secure Jewish institutions called “no supervision” at all.

“You have an entire community of thousands and thousands of people, including many children and families, that now have to live in fear as a result of the fact that this — as described by the police — ‘violent and dangerous’ individual is still walking the streets,” Efune said in the Wednesday interview.

“It’s outrageous, and really a travesty of justice and a failure in the justice system that cannot protect innocent citizens, and really does more to protect the accused perpetrator, than the children that are under threat,” he said.

Watch the interview below:

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