The Manhattan district attorney’s first year on the job is nothing to Bragg about — even by the most forgiving of standards.
In his 10 months in office, Harlem-raised Alvin Bragg — the borough’s first African-American elected DA who won on a platform of criminal justice reform and increasing police accountability — has certainly kept his promise for change.
Since taking office in January, the former civil rights lawyer and a former federal prosecutor have overseen a 30.5% surge in major crimes in Manhattan compared to the same time in 2021, NYPD data through Oct. 30 show. Citywide, the spike is at 29.6%.
Crime is rampant in the Midtown South Precinct, whose confines are a hub for city workers, residents, and tourists and includes Times Square, Penn Station, and Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square. Murders this year are up 14% (24 from 21) from 2021, while burglaries have jumped 45% (2,476 from 1,710), grand larceny has increased a whopping 53% (9,648 from 6,295) and robbery has soared 32% (1,785 from 1,356).
Bragg’s progressive policies include not seeking bail or prison time for most defendants and downgrading certain felonies to misdemeanors, as outlined in his now infamous “Day 1” memo.
Along the way, he’s attracted a growing army of detractors — everyone from everyday New Yorkers, victims’ families, and even a gubernatorial candidate who says he will remove Bragg from office if elected.
“Alvin Bragg created a criminal-friendly environment without repercussions that even Snake Plissken [protagonist of the 1981 film “Escape From New York”] would approve,” snarked Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “If Bragg keeps going unchecked, the next sign you’ll see hung in Manhattan won’t be ‘Gun Free Zone,’ but ‘We’re Closed for Business.’”
Among Bragg’s greatest hits:
Christian Hall, 30: Cops charged him with robbery for allegedly shoplifting and threatening workers with scissors at a TJ Maxx store in January. Bragg’s office knocked that down to petty larceny. The NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association [SBA] claimed Bragg’s underlings “intentionally omitted all facts” about the violent theft at the Chelsea store — including key information about the alleged weapon — leading to a mere shoplifting charge and the release of an “assault and robbery recidivist.” The arresting officer refused to sign the complaint until it was amended “to include the shears and threatening statement,” the SBA said. Hall’s been arrested 21 times with nine cases still open, including robbery with a deadly weapon and assault. In February, Hall allegedly sucker-punched a sanitation worker.
William Rolon, 43: The wanted ex-con allegedly stole more than $2,000 worth of merchandise in January by threatening a drug store worker with a knife — yet had his armed robbery charges downgraded by Bragg. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Jay Weiner told Rolon he should “feel lucky” that DA Bragg’s “new policies” meant he was only charged with petty larceny and wouldn’t face “a long period of time.”
Tyrell Rodgers, 29: Bragg‘s office failed to request a warrant to confiscate a gun used in an armed robbery by serial offender Rodgers — he had 23 prior arrests — who then fatally shot a man with that same weapon exactly a month later, a union boss alleged. Rodgers allegedly pointed the silver revolver at his estranged girlfriend and stole her cell phone while threatening to kill her on Feb. 8, court records show. He then allegedly killed a man with that revolver on March 8 — after Bragg’s office failed to issue a warrant that detectives on the robbery case requested, Detectives union boss Paul DiGiacomo charged.
Jose Alba, 61: The woke prosecutor finally got tough — on a hard-working Manhattan bodega clerk who grabbed a knife to fend off a raging ex-con on July 1. The traumatized Alba, who has no known criminal history, cooled his heels at Rikers Island for nearly a week, unable to post $250,000 bail, despite surveillance video showing the clerk being assaulted by his alleged victim. Bragg ultimately backed down and dropped the murder charges against Alba after a series of front-page Post reports that outraged politicians and everyday New Yorkers. Alba, fed up with the Big Apple Circus, quit his job at the Hamilton Heights bodega and is pondering leaving the city for good.
Justin Washington, 25: A man accused of raping his teenage relative secured a plum plea deal in August from Bragg’s office and then went on to allegedly sexually terrorize five people in the Bronx four weeks later, sources told the Post. Washington was set to do 30 days in jail and five years probation following a plea to coercion but never made it to sentencing. Washington allegedly went on a sex-crime spree near the homeless shelter where he was living in the Bronx.