Camrin Williams, the 16-year-old rapper who was charged with shooting an NYPD officer in the Bronx last week, is out of jail after posting a quarter-million-dollar bond, according to local reports. 

Williams, who raps under the stage name C Blu, was booked for attempted murder after his gun went off during a struggle with police, striking officer Kaseem Pennant in the leg last Tuesday. 

Pennant was treated for his injuries and was reportedly discharged from the hospital the next morning. 

But on Thursday, Williams was released from custody after paying $250,000 in bail. 

Judge Denis Boyle, the Bronx Supreme Court justice presiding over C Blu’s case, has come under fire from police unions who say the teen should have been held without bond until trial. Boyle’s supposed leniency for youthful offenders has been the subject of local controversy for years, and critics say the judge is partially to blame for a perceived rise in New York City’s crime rate since the start of the pandemic. 

Camrin Williams Charged, Released

According to the New York Post, police in the Bronx’s 48th precinct responded to a call about a disorderly crowd near East 187th Street in the borough’s Belmont neighborhood at around 9:30 p.m. on Jan 18.

Authorities told the outlet that Pennant and five other NYPD officers arrived at the scene to find a group of teens standing around a white car. Department sources said that when the officers approached the youths, Williams put his hands in his pockets. 

Officers reportedly commanded the 16-year-old to show his hands and claimed that they tackled him when he refused to comply. During the scuffle, a gun allegedly in Williams’ possession inadvertently fired. Reports indicate that the teen was struck in the groin “before” Pennant was hit in the leg, but it’s not clear how many shots were fired during the struggle. 

Police say rapper C Blu, real name Camrin Williams, was arrested with this gun in his possession.
Police say rapper C Blu, real name Camrin Williams, was arrested with this gun in his possession. The gun allegedly went off while officers tried to restrain Williams. Photo credit: NYPD CrimeStoppers

Both Williams and Pennant were treated for minor wounds. Pennant was back home by the next morning, while Williams was booked for attempted murder, criminal possession of a firearm, and criminal use of the same after his discharge from the hospital. 

But on Thursday, after just a little more than a week behind bars, the teen was released on $250,000 bail following his arraignment with Judge Boyle. 

Prosecutors had previously recommended that the youth be remanded — held in jail without bond — but Judge Boyle set the six-figure amount over their objections. According to one report, C Blu planned to use a cash advance from his music label Interscope Records to secure the bail. 

Kaseem Pennant, the NYPD cop allegedly shot by Camrin Williams, was out of the hospital the next day.
Kaseem Pennant, the NYPD cop allegedly shot by Camrin Williams, was out of the hospital the next day. Williams, a rapper under teh stage name C Blu, was later released from jail on bond. Photo credit: NYPD Twitter

Judge Under Fire for ‘Leniency’

Williams’ release drew the ire of the New York City Police Benevolent Association, the powerful cop union that represents two-thirds of NYPD’s officers.

“Shame on Judge Denis Boyle for allowing this to happen,” said PBA president Patrick Lynch in a statement Thursday. 

“If anybody wants to know why we have a crisis of violence in this city, or why we’re about to bury two hero police officers, look no further than this disgraceful bail release,” he continued. “[Williams] chose to fight with and shoot a New York City police officer. There’s no reason to believe he won’t do the exact same thing when he’s out on the street tonight.”

Critics say Judge Boyle should have kept Camrin Williams in jail without bail.
Critics say Judge Boyle should have kept Camrin Williams in jail without bail. The teen, an aspiring rapper a.k.a. C Blu, was charged with the attempted murder of an NYPD officer. Photo credit: Instagram

In a rare rebuke from officials, the New York Office of Court Administration issued a comment of its own in response to the critics. 

“The ire that the PBA president is projecting on the judge, who is following the law, should be directed at the individuals who promulgate those laws,” wrote spokesperson Lucian Chalfen, adding that Williams was legally eligible for bail in this case. 

It’s a familiar argument for New Yorkers. In May, Judge Boyle ruled that a Bronx 17-year-old be released on probation after he was arrested on charges of assault, burglary and possession of a firearm. Just months after he was sprung, the teen was arrested in connection with a college student’s murder

In June, Boyle rankled opponents when he reduced the bail of a 16-year-old who was charged with murdering a father of two. 

In March 2020, Boyle cited Covid concerns when he released a 16-year-old from a juvenile detention center, where the youth had been sent on suspicion of murder. Months later in December, the same teen was charged with slashing the stomach of a pregnant woman.