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CEOs and business leaders tore into woke Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Friday during a private Zoom meeting with members of the Partnership for New York City over his new policies that downgrade many felony charges.
The meeting of approximately 100 business leaders was a form of damage control concerning the DA’s policies as crime spirals out of control in New York City. The attempt to improve Bragg’s image came just hours before NYPD police officers were ambushed in Harlem with one of them being killed and the other critically injured. Following that incident, Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, accused Bragg and his soft-on-crime policies of endangering police officers.
Top CEOs on the Zoom meeting warned Bragg that violent crime was approaching epidemic levels in New York City and their workers no longer feel safe coming to work, according to Fox Business.
“If I get hit in the head with a baseball bat, will you prosecute?” one business leader allegedly asked the new DA. He said yes because it’s a violent felony.
Welcome to District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s Manhattan. pic.twitter.com/LPNG96Wfxp
— Bill Bratton (@CommissBratton) January 10, 2022
Congressman Lee Zeldin is asking the same question every New Yorker should be. Where is she? DA's like Alvin Bragg are telling criminals they will Not be prosecuted. @GovKathyHochul silence is creating a culture of violence and we're all paying the price.#saveourstate pic.twitter.com/69TJl5hpif
— SUFFOLK COUNTY PBA (@SuffolkPBA) January 22, 2022
“The tone in [New York City] is lawless, and his memo empowers lawlessness,” another caller reportedly said, according to the New York Post.
Deloitte USA CEO Joe Ucuzoglu laid into Bragg following the horrific death of Deloitte employee Michelle Go who was killed after an unstable homeless man pushed her onto the subway tracks last week.
One retailer claimed that crime had gotten so bad in Manhattan that he’s installing the same type of security he currently uses in lawless Caracas, Venezuela.
Bragg attempted to assuage their fears and lessen tensions by telling the leaders that public safety was his top priority. He apologized for any confusion over his policies, then he doubled down on them.
Gun violence in New York City has skyrocketed. There has been a 101 percent increase since 2019. Murders have gone up 53 percent since 2019 and many believe what Bragg is doing will make it exponentially worse.
Firing Alvin Bragg would be greatly appreciated.
— Chris Toliver (@ctoliver) January 22, 2022
While speaking at an NYU School of Law virtual conference on Thursday, Bragg blamed poor “messaging” and communication for the furor over his lax policies.
“I take full accountability for that confusion caused by the memo,” he said concerning his January 3 policy memo.
“[It] left many New Yorkers justifiably concerned for how we will keep them safe,” he asserted, claiming the public was confused by the dense legalistic language of the memo and was evidently savvy enough to get the nuance of it all.
“I’ve got a lot to learn about comms and messaging,” Bragg admitted. “Lesson learned.” His mea culpa failed to assure anyone concerning rising crime in the Big Apple.
Numerous business leaders were alarmed by Bragg’s new policies that are aimed at eliminating prison sentences for all but the most serious crimes. The policies also downgrade felony charges in certain instances of armed robbery and burglary. They drop charges for many low-level offenses altogether.
Bragg’s “Day One” policy memo calls for his office to stop prosecuting low-level offenses including marijuana misdemeanors, prostitution, resisting arrest, and fare dodging.
The DA also ordered prosecutors to stop seeking prison sentences for all crimes except for homicides, assaults resulting in serious injury, domestic violence felonies, sex offenses, public corruption, and “major economic crimes.” He has also instructed prosecutors not to seek bail requirements for suspects awaiting trial. Charges will now be downgraded in certain cases of robbery, burglary, and drug dealing.
Keechant Sewell, New York’s first black female commissioner, sent an email to NYPD officers stating she’s concerned about the effects of Bragg’s sweeping changes.
“I have studied these policies and I am very concerned about the implications to your safety as police officers, the safety of the public, and justice for the victims,” she wrote in an email obtained by the New York Post.
One of her biggest concerns is Bragg’s refusal to prosecute resisting arrest charges unless they are part of a larger felony case.
She believes it will “invite violence against police officers and will have deleterious effects on our relationship with the communities we protect.”
However, Sewell met with Bragg and they have evidently reconciled their differences.
Memo was met with outrage/criticism, particularly from police unions and officials. Bragg later met with Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell to hear her concerns. Afterward, they issued this joint statement. pic.twitter.com/EHkbD0zHiJ
— Mike Sisak (@mikesisak) January 20, 2022
Fox Business anchor Dagen McDowell summed up what many are thinking out there concerning Bragg, “These dangerous, delusional democrats think bullsh–tery and wordsmithery will work on outraged New Yorkers? Alvin Bragg’s pro-criminal, victim-be-damned directive speaks for itself. It doesn’t need better marketing, just dismantling.”
It is being widely reported that a dozen prosecutors have left the DA’s office since Bragg has been elected.
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