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It takes a village to kill a cop …

... and an army of journalists to bury the real story

Tina Trent author image /

Repeat offender Alexander Bonds pulled the trigger that killed NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia, but he didn’t get there alone. Throughout his life, Bonds was abetted by judges and other people in government who did everything in their power to keep him out of prison, no matter what he did to deserve being in prison.

They also gave him unknown quantities of tax dollars to subsidize his criminal lifestyle, pried from hard-working citizens and their families. That’s a story nobody ever tells.

Only Alexander Bonds knows how many crimes Alexander Bonds committed before stepping up to a police truck and assassinating Officer Familia. Few in the media seem interested in even trying to piece together his criminal record. Bonds used multiple aliases. His sealed juvenile record indicates he was committing crimes prior to 2001.

And when he turned 18, he immediately started his adult criminal career. An anonymous source told media outlets that Bonds committed a serious assault on a police officer that year:

In 2001, when he was 18, he was with a group of four other people who attacked a police officer in Queens, a law enforcement official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe the case, which has been sealed. Wearing brass knuckles, Mr. Bonds punched and kicked the officer, the official said.

So what happened next? Was Bonds tried for aggravated assault? Was he charged with a hate crime for trying to kill a police officer?

Of course he wasn’t. It’s not clear he was charged with any crime. It’s not clear why the case was sealed. And the media, which is laboring to humanize Bonds by writing about his childhood and his feelings and his traumas and his mental state, even before the murdered officer is laid to rest, is entirely uninterested in finding out why the cop-killer pummeled another cop – with brass knuckles – and apparently got away with it 16 years ago.

Alexander Bonds’ known criminal record includes, in addition to the sealed juvenile crimes and the prior assault on a police officer, a drug sale conviction, an armed robbery conviction, “more than two dozen” infractions including assaults committed while in prison, and at least seven arrests. That is just what the media has uncovered in two days, and the count is rising.

Bonds spent about half of his adult life behind bars, which almost certainly prevented him from committing even more crimes outside prison.

A parole board cited his multiple crimes behind bars and his “lengthy history” of arrests as reasons for denying him parole in 2012, though the state overrode the parole board’s concerns and released him a year early anyway :

Records show Alexander Bonds, also called John Bonds, was written up more than two dozen times while in prison after pleading guilty to a 2005 robbery in Syracuse.

Some of the disciplinary knocks are top-level violations such as assaulting an inmate or fighting.

A parole board cited his “poor institutional behavior” and “lengthy history” of arrests in denying his 2012 bid for parole. He was released in 2013 under a provision that sometimes allows parole without a board’s input.

The criminal history of Alexander Bonds and the lenience afforded him in multiple courtrooms is the real story of our criminal justice system. Every day violent thugs are given endless opportunities to victimize the public while living off various forms of welfare so they needn’t be distracted by things like paying rent as they build their criminal resumes.

But this isn’t a story  you will read in the newspaper. Instead, despite having no evidence that Bonds was ever denied mental health care or was mentally incapacitated when he shot Officer Familia, the New York Times is forging ahead with a story depicting the dead cop-killer as a helpless victim of inadequate mental health care.

Like all poverty pimp journalists, Times reporters and editors don’t bother to actually fact-check the various claims of deprivation and victimization made by the welfare recipients and criminals they quote. This failure to fact-check is so ingrained and universal that it is invisible to both writers and readers of the Times.

From the first paragraph to the last of this Times story, there are scores of such unsubstantiated assertions. Here is the first paragraph:

After a lifetime of trouble, Alexander Bonds finally seemed to have everything under control. At 34, he had escaped New York City’s shelter system and moved into his own apartment in the Bronx. He had a girlfriend, and a job at a fast-food restaurant. His five-year stint on parole was almost up, and he had not had a run-in with the police in years.

Is any of this true?

Was it “his own” apartment or was it subsidized by taxpayers like everything else in his life up to that point? Was Bonds really personally “under control,” or was he continuing to do what he had done repeatedly for decades: lash out at police and society while claiming to be the real victim? Had he really “not had a run-in with the police in years,” or was he relentlessly trying to antagonize police, as he claimed on social media? How does the reporter know there were no recent run-ins with police, when not even his serious assault on a police officer in 2001 appears to have resulted in jail time?

The Times continues:

But in recent weeks, something was off. He was hospitalized in June for a breakdown after making an ominous call to his sister.

“He kept saying he was going to kill someone,” Nancy Kearse, his aunt, said, recalling the episode. “He was very angry.”

He had been out of the hospital only a week when that rage erupted in a heinous and seemingly random act of violence. Early on Wednesday, Mr. Bonds was walking down a street in the Bronx when he pulled out a gun and fired through the window of a police truck, killing the officer who was sitting in the passenger seat, Miosotis Familia. He ran a short way before he was shot and killed by responding officers.

Again, nearly every sentence is a lie.

Bonds did not suddenly “erupt.” There is an unambiguous record of him ranting about cops on social media. What part of attacking cops online, then going out and killing a cop, can be classified as “random”?

Bonds also didn’t shoot Officer Familia, run “a short way” and then simply get “shot and killed by responding cops.” He was fleeing with a gun and turned on the police chasing him. A bystander was shot in the melee.

Despite Bonds’ documented animosity towards police and his violent criminal record, the Times quotes relatives and fellow cellmates who claim to be astonished that Bonds “suddenly … pivoted to violence.” Worse, it prints serious accusations by Bonds and others about alleged crimes committed by guards at Attica without doing even rudimentary fact-checking to see if any of the accusations are true. The paper brushes off Bonds’ prior, serious criminal record, though not as much as the reliably sleazy Syracuse Post-Standard, which wins first prize for minimizing criminal activity with this headline:

Ex-Syracuse Man: From Run-of-the-Mill Robber to Accused NYPD Officer Killer

Because, holding a gun to someone’s head is just a “run of the mill” crime. But don’t worry, the Syracuse Post-Standard assures us, “there’s no indication that the victim was injured in the robbery.”

Well, that’s a relief.

Just one dead cop and one beaten cop, one armed robbery victim, multiple victims of assault behind bars, six-plus other arrests, and unknown numbers of unknown crime victims.

But that’s not all. The New York Daily News is already debunking the New York Times’ reporting on Bonds and his alleged lifestyle “turnaround”:

Residents in Bonds’ Bronx neighborhood gave the paroled goon a wide berth on the local streets. [Name blocked], 15, lived with her family right across the street from Bonds.

“When you see him at night, you would want to be careful and cross the street,” [the neighbor] said. “I would see him hanging out with his friends … walking around, selling drugs.”

Also contrary to the Times, Bonds apparently didn’t steer clear of police in recent years:

Since his release four years ago, Bonds … received five summonses between 2013 and 2015, including tickets for public urination, fare-beating and possession of an open alcohol container.

If New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and an army of anti-incarceration activists had not dismantled broken-windows policing and outlawed stop-and-frisk, there might be one less dead cop on the streets of New York tonight.

It takes a village to kill a cop.

The Author

Tina Trent

Tina Trent writes about crime and policing, political radicals, social service programs, and academia. She has published several reports for America’s Survival and helped the late Larry Grathwohl release a…