Police and detective unions are blasting radical arrest and sentencing reforms announced this week by newly-inaugurated Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who issued a memo barring detention and incarceration except for homicide and a few other crimes.
As Breitbart News reported on Tuesday, Bragg informed staff that pre-trial detention was not to be used except for a few crimes, and that prosecutors should not seek “carceral” sentences except for homicide and a few other exceptions. He cited “research” claiming that “after a certain length, longer sentences do not deter crime or result in greater community safety.”
The UK Daily Mail reported that Bragg’s announcement was greeted with shock and outrage by law enforcement groups:
His sweeping changes call on prosecutors to ditch felony armed robbery charges and instead charge suspects with petty larceny – a misdemeanor which carries a maximum of one year in prison – even when a weapon is involved if the firearm did not “create a genuine risk of physical harm.”
NYPD unions, New York Republicans and angry residents were left dumbfounded amid growing fears that the crime-ravaged city will experience the same fate as other progressive-run bastions on the West Coast that have been plagued by looting and lawlessness.
‘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.
Curtis Sliwa, the Republican mayoral candidate who lost to Adams by a landslide, told DailyMail.com on Wednesday: “It’s an advertisement for criminals. Come to Manhattan.”
The New York City Police Benevolent Association expressed concerns about the new changes, saying that police officers would not want to risk their safety to enforce laws that prosecutors did not intend to uphold through the justice process:
Pat Lynch talks to @nikreport about the big concerns with changes to prosecution in Manhattan: How will NYC police officers be able to do our job effectively? And can we do it safely? pic.twitter.com/I2JCNRlHl9
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) January 6, 2022
"POs don’t want to be sent out to enforce laws that the district attorneys won’t prosecute," said Lynch…"And there are already too many people who believe that they can commit crimes, resist arrest, interfere w/ police officers & face zero consequences."https://t.co/JYpc2vJpr0
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) January 5, 2022
New York City gained a reputation for safety under Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the 1990s, who was seen as supportive of police and a policy of strict enforcement against even petty crimes, so-called “broken window” policing.
Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio, who just left office, backed the Black Lives Matter movement, exempting its anti-police protests from the city’s ban on large events. He left office in the middle of “surging murders, robberies and hate crimes.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.