Manhattan DA says he won’t prosecute certain low-level crimes, frustrating police unions


MANHATTAN — After just days on the job, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has changed what crimes will be prosecuted in the borough.

He’s said marijuana misdemeanors, prostitution, and fare evasion will no longer be prosecuted. Bragg also wants lesser charges for some low-level crimes, including drug deals and some robberies.

“We need to reserve our justice system for real public safety challenges,” he said.

Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch says Bragg’s plan sends the wrong message.

“Police officers don’t want to be sent out to enforce laws that the district attorneys won’t prosecute,” he said. “And there are already too many people who believe that they can commit crimes, resist arrest, interfere with police officers and face zero consequences.”

The new guidelines from Bragg focus more on alternative programs to help offenders stay out of jail and reduce the number of people in jail awaiting trial.

“These policy changes not only will, in and of themselves, make us safer, they also will free up prosecutorial resources to focus on violent crime,” Bragg said.

Mayor Eric Adams, when asked about Bragg’s plan, said he feels there’s room for justice and public safety. He said he still has to meet with Bragg.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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