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Manhattan’s controversial district attorney has a lot of endorsements to brag about.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has drawn media attention after announcing he would be refusing to incarcerate many criminals who commit non-felony offenses and downgrading serious crimes like armed robbery.
However, Bragg’s unprecedented overhaul of the criminal justice system was not a surprise. It was a core part of his campaign, which received support from Democratic Party leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock and more.
In a stunning reversal of traditional law enforcement procedures, Bragg sent a memo stressing “diversion and alternatives to incarceration” in prosecutions. The exceptions to the no-jail time offenses include murder, some sex offenses and white-collar corruption crimes. Several serious crimes, like armed robbery, are being reduced to misdemeanors.
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In the case of murder, Bragg says his office will limit sentences to 20 years. He is refusing to seek the state-mandated “life without parole” for murderers, who would include terrorists, cop killers and even serial killers.
Schumer, one of the most prominent and powerful lawmakers in the Democratic Party, has been a longtime supporter of Bragg.
Schumer has made numerous appearances with Bragg at public events, which have been shared through Bragg’s social media accounts.
The two posed together for photos at a party celebrating the victory of New York State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou.
Bragg has previously said that Warnock, who is both a Georgia senator and pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, was his youth minister. The two posed together for photos at Abyssinian Baptist Church.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams also posed with Bragg at a National Action Network event.
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“I have a lot of respect for DA Bragg … He has a real vision,” Adams said at a press conference when asked about the new policies. “We’re all going to come together and wear one jersey: Team Safe New York.”
Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York wrote a lengthy, glowing endorsement of Bragg during his campaign.
“I am proud to endorse Alvin Bragg for Manhattan DA. Alvin’s combination of personal experience with stop and frisk and intimacy with the impacts of our criminal justice system on Black and brown communities, together with his unmatched white-collar and violent crime casework and top-level management experience in the NY State AG’s office, give me comfort that all cases that come before the Manhattan DA’s office will be handled with great skill, strong judgement and bountiful integrity,” Meeks wrote. “Those are the leadership qualities we need in a DA.”
Bragg also received a written endorsement from Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, who called him the “only candidate” capable of managing the district attorney’s duties.
“[Alvin] is the only candidate that has the management and leadership experience to run this office on day one. And he isn’t interested in buying your vote, he wants to earn it. It is my honor to endorse him and my sincere hope that you vote in his favor,” Rollins wrote in an endorsement message shared by Bragg’s team.
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The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is considered the premier local law enforcement job in the nation.
It was the home of the legendary mob-busting Thomas E. Dewey, who was a Republican candidate for president twice. Two iconic DAs followed him: Frank Hogan served for 32 years and Robert Morgenthau for even longer at 35 years.
“He’s paving the way for an even bigger bloodbath than what we have seen in New York City already,” Jennifer Harrison, head of the crime victims advocacy group, Victims Rights NY, said, referring to Bragg.
“It’s going to be deadly,” she predicts. “Not prosecuting crime and standing with socialists, advocating to release more violent criminals with blanket release mandates when murder rates are up, what, 45% over the past two years … is not the message that we want to be sending.”
Fox News’s Eric Shawn contributed to this report.