The Manhattan District Attorney’s office will not prosecute a suspect arrested Saturday for allegedly vandalizing St. Patrick’s Cathedral on May 30.
Police had initially charged 26-year-old Yadir Avila Rosas with criminal mischief in the third degree and making graffiti on the church, according to the New York Post.
Rosas was also the alleged getaway driver for two female suspects who tagged the famous church with spray-painted expletives and messages such as “No Justice No Peace” and “BLM.”
Police are still searching for the two women.
Although Rosas’ arraignment did not take place, the matter will remain under investigation, a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance told the New York Daily News.
Friday, Vance announced that under a new policy, the office “declines to prosecute these arrests in the interest of justice.”
The prosecution of protestors charged with these low-level offenses undermines critical bonds between law enforcement and the communities we serve. Days after the killing of George Floyd, our nation and our city are at a crossroads in our continuing endeavor to confront racism and systemic injustice wherever it exists. Our office has a moral imperative to enact public policies which assure all New Yorkers that in our justice system and our society, black lives matter and police violence is a crime.
We commend the thousands of our fellow New Yorkers who have peacefully assembled to demand these achievable aims, and our door is open to any New Yorker who wishes to be heard.
“If evidence emerges that any individuals personally participated in violence against police officers, destruction, or looting, such individuals will be charged with appropriate crimes,” the statement continued.
In 1858, builders laid the cornerstone of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and its doors were later opened in 1879.
“It was over 160 years ago when Archbishop John Hughes announced his inspired ambition to build the ‘new’ St. Patrick’s Cathedral,” the church’s’ website read.