Aitabdel Salem stayed in jail more than 4 months as he couldn’t make $25,000 bail. He later found out that he had to pay only $2.
Queens man was held at New York City’s Rikers Island jail for approximately 5 months thinking that he owed $25,000 for an officer assault when he only owed $2.
Aitabdel Salem from Algeria was arrested and booked in jail in November 2014 after he allegedly stole a coat at a clothing store, then fight the officer who caught him.
Originally, Salem’s bail was set at $25,000. Since he was unable to pay this bail amount, he was locked up at Rikers.
Luckily, a week later, prosecutors failed to indict Salem and he was ordered released November 28, 2014, on the police assault arrest.
At that point, to be released, Salem had to pay a dollar bail set on each of two minor offenses, including tampering and mischief. However, Salem’s attorney never told him that, since there was no further communication between them.
Without knowing that his freedom cost him only $2, Salem spent nearly 5 months at one of the most overcrowded and abusive jails of New York City.
“[Salem] was shocked and dismayed and frustrated that his case was unconscionably mishandled and there was no communication by his attorney telling him his bail was $2, which he could have made at any moment,” said Glenn Hardy, one of Salem’s new attorneys.
We demand an immediate investigation into how it could happen that the individual was prevented from talking to his attorney and why he wasn’t informed that his bail was reduced from $25,000 to $1.
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