MANHATTAN — Bobby Shmurda’s $2 million bail is not budging.
Once again, a Manhattan judge denied lowering or removing bail that has kept the East Flatbush rapper in custody since his arrest in December 2014 on conspiracy, gun and drug charges.
At a 40-minute hearing on Tuesday, Shmurda’s attorney Alex Spiro argued the court should reconsider the millions required to set the 21-year-old free.
Among Spiro’s points: the officers who arrested Shmurda, whose real name is Ackquille Pollard, were negligent; it is “unconscionable” to hold a “black teenager with no criminal record [and] no warrant history” in custody on such a sum; and he presents no flight risk because “he has no passport, let alone [has] ever been outside the country.”
Spiro also said Shmurda couldn't hope to pay $2 million because, at the time of his arrest, he was worth only $427,000 according to a 2014 tax return from his record label Sony.
“We’ve previously … set a bail amount at five times what his possible net worth could be. That’s effectively a remand,” or no-bail committal, he said.
During the proceeding, Shmurda sat quietly next to Spiro in a gray sweater, dark gray sweatpants and bright red sneakers, giving only an occasional frown or shake of the head as prosecutor Nigel Farina recounted the charges against him.
“Mr. Spiro would like to talk about everything except what this case is about. This case is not about race. It’s about murder. It’s about gun play and shootings,” Farina said.
Ultimately, Judge Abraham Clott denied the application to reduce or remove Shmurda’s bail, saying that the only changes in the case since it began have been for the worse, citing additional charges brought against Shmurda last summer when his girlfriend tried to smuggle a shank into Rikers for him inside her bra.
“To the extent that there have been any changes in the circumstances involved, they would all appear to support an increase in bail,” he said.
After the hearing, Shmurda’s mother, Leslie Pollard, stood outside the courtroom with tears in her eyes; besides reporters, photographers and attorneys, she was the only person to show up for her son’s court appearance on Tuesday.
“There’s no evidence to have him there. Everything that the DA is stating is somebody else’s business, not Ackquille’s business,” she told DNAinfo New York. “It’s bullsh-t. It’s because of who he is.”
The issue of Shmurda's bail has made headlines for months, most recently in December when the much-maligned pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli said in an interview that he could pay the rapper's bail "no f---ing problem" before his own arrest a day later.
Shmurda is due back in court on Feb. 16.