There is growing backlash over the progressive new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his shockingly soft stance on crime that was revealed on Monday in a memo to his staff, less than a week after new Mayor Eric Adams took office.
Bragg, the newly minted prosecutor of the Big Apple’s main borough, sent a memo to his staff Monday announcing that he ‘will not seek carceral’ sentences for criminals, unless they were guilty of murder or a handful of other crimes he deems serious enough to jail a criminal for.
Among his sweeping changes is that prosecutors should ditch felony armed robbery charges and instead charge suspects with petit larceny – a misdemeanor which carries a maximum of one year in prison – even if a weapon is involved ‘if do not create a genuine risk of physical harm.’
Burglaries won’t be prosecuted as burglaries if the burglar steals from a storage unit or outdoor property that isn’t connected to a ‘living’ dwelling, and lesser crimes like prostitution, turnstile jumping, weapons possession (of non-firearms) and marijuana possession won’t be prosecuted at all.
Drug dealers will not be prosecuted for felony crimes unless they commit others, on top of drug dealing and prison should be a ‘last resort’, despite the mounting number of violent crimes being committed on the streets of New York by repeat offenders who have been let out of jail early.
NYPD unions, New York Republicans and angry residents now fear how much worse the city’s crime problem can possibly get with a prosecutor who refuses to go after the criminals they fear.
‘Why doesn’t Bragg just give the drug dealers business cards telling everyone they’re open for business, what their hours are, and what they charge?’ Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said in a statement on Wednesday.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has vowed not to prosecute some violent crimes and downgrade felonies like armed robberies to the misdemeanor petit larceny if there isn’t a ‘genuine threat’, even if a weapon is involved
‘Alvin Bragg’s memo to his staff specifying his prosecution policy will result in more crime and increased shootings.
‘Where there are drugs, there are guns. D.A. Bragg has made himself the police, the judge and the jury.’
Curtis Sliwa, the Republican Mayoral Candidate who ran against Adams but was defeated, told DailyMail.com on Wednesday: ‘It’s an advertisement for criminals,’ he said. ‘Come to Manhattan.’
In an earlier appearance on Newsmax, he said it created an ‘open season’ for criminals and that Adams – who promised to be tough on crime – needed to come down harder on his new DA.
‘Beware of Eric Adams who says one thing and then immediately embraces the guy who is advertising: ‘come to the borough of Manhattan and commit crime.
‘It’s open season.
‘That means smash and grabs, that means shoplifting, armed robbery, somebody can put a gun to your head as a tourist and guess what, he gets a desk appearance ticket.
‘Eric Adams can’t have it both ways.’
The Police Benevolent Association president Patrick J. Lynch, who leads the nearly 24,000-member union, said that has ‘serious concerns’ over the new policies.
‘Police officers don’t want to be sent out to enforce laws that the district attorneys won’t prosecute.
‘There are already too many people who believe that they can commit crimes, resist arrest, interfere with police officers and face zero consequences.’
The Detectives’ Endowment Association released this statement saying he might as well give the criminals business cards
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said he has ‘serious concerns’
The union chief said he hoped that Bragg would sit down with the leaders from his union to discuss the changes.
‘We must all pull together towards one goal: a safer New York City.’
NYGOP Chairman Nick Langworthy called the policy ‘pure insanity’.
‘This policy is pure insanity by a Soros-funded, woke DA who is opening the door for even more crime and chaos on New York City streets.
‘This, on top of Democrats’ end to cash bail, will have deadly results and send even more residents, businesses and tourists fleeing.
‘This is a damning reminder that elections have consequences,’ he told DailyMail.com.
Richie Greenberg, a former mayoral candidate in San Francisco who is now spearheading the effort to remove Chesa Boudin, the city’s prosecutor who has abolished cash bail, said he feared for the people of New York.
‘I fear for the safety of New York residents, businesses owners and tourists.
‘They tried the same reforms in San Francisco that focused on decarceration and what you see very fast is a descent into a free-for-all.’
‘Criminals come from all around to prey on businesses and the people of San Francisco,’ he said.
‘Beware of Eric Adams who says one thing and then immediately embraces the guy who is advertising: ‘come to the borough of Manhattan and commit crime’ said Adams’ former opponent, Curtis Sliwa
Crime in New York City is so bad that the Mayor Eric Adams called 911 himself this week after watching two men brawl in the street
ALVIN BRAGG’S MEMO PROMISING NOT TO JAIL CRIMINALS AND ONLY USE PRISON AS A ‘LAST RESORT’
Bragg’s memo said he would seek ‘alternatives’ to jailtime for misdemeanors, and that some felonies should be downgraded to misdemeanors so that the suspects who commit them can escape custody.
It was a shock to some of those who voted for Adams on his promise that he would crack down on the city’s worsening crime problem.
The new Mayor has not commented on the criticism of Bragg’s memo.
On Wednesday, Bragg tried to offer reassurances that he would only let non-violent criminals who stole ‘toothpaste’ or ‘bread’.
‘We will be tough when we need to be, but we will not be seeking to destroy lives through unnecessary incarceration.
New York City is currently experiencing soaring crime rates and an increase in shooting incidents not seen since the mid-2000s
‘In practical terms that means: I’ve prosecuted gun cases and if you use a gun to rob a store, or any armed robbery, you will be prosecuted. I’ve prosecuted cases involving assaulting law enforcement, and if you punch a police officer, you will be prosecuted.
‘But if you are houseless with an addiction problem and you steal toothpaste and some bread, you will be diverted for treatment to help break the cycle of recidivism.’
He did not clarify the extent to which the criminals would be prosecuted, or if he would seek jail term for them.
The most recent crime stats put out by the NYPD show that crime continues to tick up in the new year.
The first homicide of 2022 in NYC: A woman was stabbed to death near a diner in Astoria, Queens on New Year’s Day at 9pm
Compared to last year major crimes, which include murder, rape, robbery, felony assault and others, have jumped 38 per cent for the week of December 27 to January 2.
There have been fewer murders in that period – five to last year’s 10 during the same period – but grand larceny spiked 84 percent, rape is up 35 percent and robber climbed 21 percent.
Crime is only up about two percent compared to two years ago, but 15 percent higher than last decade.
New Mayor Eric Adams endorsed Bragg for Manhattan prosecutor and claimed on Monday that his policies would help reduce crime.
Adams was an attractive choice for many voters because of his repeated promises to crack down on crime and bring back plain clothes units to disband gangs and tackle gun violence.