Alvin Bragg

Hochul on Bragg: Manhattan DA Taking Steps Needed to Achieve Shared Vision

Gov. Kathy Hochul's gubernatorial opponents have called on her to remove Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg from office over his controversial policies not to prosecute some crimes

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Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is taking the steps he needs to in order to accomplish what she described as their shared vision, her first remarks since she met with the controversial new prosecutor.

The Democrat didn't much elaborate on what she and Bragg discussed when she made the comment during a COVID-19 briefing in the Bronx. Previously, she told the New York Post she had "options" and knew "full well" her power to remove him.

Bragg took office on Jan. 1 and came under fire almost immediately for a set of guidelines he issued to prosecutors, ordering them not to charge certain crimes at all and to downgrade others to lesser charges.

Among the most controversial of those changes was an order not to prosecute some instances of resisting arrest, and another mandating that felony armed robbery be downgraded in many cases to misdemeanor shoplifting.

His order came against a backdrop of sharply rising crime in New York City. In the NYPD's Patrol Borough Manhattan North, major crimes are up 23% this year versus the same period last year, led by a 43% increase in robberies.

Shooting incidents have almost doubled as well. The numbers are even higher in the Patrol Borough Manhattan South.

The widow of one of the two NYPD officers killed by a gunman when they responded to a domestic disturbance call less than two weeks ago further fueled the firestorm around Bragg, saying in a tear-filled euology that, "The system continues to fail us. We are not safe anymore, not even the members of the service."

Even before that, Hochul had said she was monitoring the situation closely and knew full well the powers the governor has to remove a district attorney from office.

She told the New York Post she was "not prepared to undo the will of the people," but that it was her responsibility to meet with Bragg and to consider whether some cases should be reassigned if the Manhattan DA's office won't prosecute them.

Hochul is running for re-election this fall, and multiple of her opponents, Republicans and Democrats alike, have slammed her for not removing Bragg from office, as she has the authority to do under state law.

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