With crime taking a painful toll on New Yorkers every day, why is Gov. Kathy Hochul cutting Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg “slack” on his determination to go easy on criminals?
Hochul actually defended him Tuesday: Bragg “needs to do his job, and he’s doing it right now,” she claimed. He’s “been on the job a very short time — I cut [him] some slack.”
No, he’s not doing it. The radical “prosecutor” openly refuses to prosecute a litany of low-level crimes or seek tough sentences for more serious ones.
And Bragg’s “very short time” on the job has seen six NYPD officers shot, two fatally.
Meanwhile, overall shootings are up 32%; rapes, 27%; robberies, 33%; grand larceny 57%; car thefts, 93%. Subway riders fear for their lives in the wake of a rash of deadly shovings and stabbings. And those shocking stats come on top of alarming spikes over the previous two years.
This is no time for cutting a renegade law-enforcer “slack,” but for issuing a clear ultimatum: Reverse course, or someone else will oversee prosecuting street crime (at least!).
New on the job? Yes, but Bragg spent years as a federal prosecutor and as a top lawyer for two state attorneys general. The idea that he needs time to learn that criminals don’t stop if they’re not prosecuted is, frankly, bull.
Indeed, even after his “Day 1 Memo” — which ordered staff to go easy on criminals — drew heat, Bragg defiantly asserted his right to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” and insisted his memo remains “operative.”
At Wednesday’s funeral, the sister of slain cop Wilbert Mora asked, with Bragg present: “How many officers must lose their lives so that this system changes?” That prompted the DA to vow to “vigorously prosecute anyone” who commits violence against police.
That’s next to nothing: His refusal to rationally prosecute everything short of that crime, including gun possession and even using-but-not-shooting guns in robberies guarantees that all too many people will be carrying, which makes actual gunfire (against cops and civilians) far more likely.
In short, by going easy on minor crime, he’s ensuring plenty more of the violent crimes he claims he will prosecute.
If Hochul cares about stemming the bloodshed, she’ll insist Bragg rescind his memo, and publicly prove he’ll make serious crime-fighting his top priority. The onus is on Bragg to show he’ll do his job — and on the governor to act swiftly if he doesn’t. At this point, she deserves no more slack than he does.