New York City’s new District Attorney Alvin Bragg enacted new soft-on-crime policies as the city deals with a historic spike in violent crime.
Background: Cities across the country have been experiencing spikes in violent crime, especially cities controlled by Democrat lawmakers. Many liberal lawmakers have begun adopting more anti-police policies which have made it more difficult to deter criminals from brazen crimes.
What Happened: DA Bragg announced his office would no longer be seeking jail time for a variety of offenses.
On his third day in office, he sent a memo stressing “diversion and alternatives to incarceration”…such as crisis intervention programs, instead of sending some criminals to jail. The no-jail time exceptions are murder, a crime that involves someone’s death, or a felony. And several serious crimes, such as some cases of armed robbery, are being reduced to misdemeanors. He also vows to limit sentences to 20 years, even for murder convictions. (per Fox News)
Bragg’s office will also largely no longer prosecute some trespass offenses, the charge of resisting arrest, subway and bus fare beating and sex work. He is also reducing charges for stealing from stores or from home storage areas, and drug dealing.
Context: Other U.S. cities like Philadelphia and Los Angeles have adopted similar progressive policies to Bragg’s yet have not seen any dropoff in crime. Now, Los Angeles DA George Gascon is facing recall effort over his radical policies which put criminals first.
What Critics Say: Police unions and crime victims have harshly criticized Bragg’s new policies, arguing they will only embolden criminals.
“There are already too many people who believe that they can commit crimes, resist arrest, interfere with police officers and face zero consequences,” says Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch.
“Bragg gives criminals the roadmap to freedom from prosecution and control of our streets,” says the head of the NYPD Detectives’ Endowment Association, Paul DiGiacomo. “In Bragg’s Manhattan, you can resist arrest, deal drugs, obstruct arrests, and even carry a gun and get away with it.”
“He’s paving the way for an even bigger bloodbath than what we have seen in New York City already,” says Jennifer Harrison, head of the crime victims advocacy group, Victims Rights New York.