Gov. Kathy Hochul will meet shortly with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, as she told the New York Post she had "options" and knew "full well" her power to remove the controversial new DA from office.
Bragg took office 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.
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“I have options, but I will be monitoring the situation very closely,” Hochul told the Post's Editorial Board, later adding "I know full well the powers that the governor has."
She told the 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. The paper reported that meeting may happen this week.
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.