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Alvin Bragg drafts crisis communications team to deal with outrage over his soft-on-crime policies


New York City‘s embattled district attorney has sought the help of his former boss and drafted a crisis PR guru to combat the outrage over his soft-on-crime policies. 

Alvin Bragg has turned to former Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara and veteran public relations professional Risa Heller to address the mounting criticisms he has received after he circulated a day-one memo earlier this month vowing to stop going after some low-level offenses, including subway turnstile jumping, prostitution, and trespassing. 

‘Risa and Preet have been making calls to people about what Bragg is doing and how to handle the fallout,’ an insider told the New York Post.

Bragg made the desperate move to devise a crisis communications team after telling his church congregation on Sunday that he’s had a ‘challenging two weeks’ since his start as Manhattan’s top prosecutor, days after it was reported that nine attorneys have quit his office over his ‘soft-on-crime’ policies. 

‘It has been a challenging two weeks church family, challenging. That hour with the Sunday school is one of the best hours of the week. I always tell them, “They do more for me than I do for them,'” he said during Sunday service at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, before dismissing the comments from his critics.

Bragg is also planning to address the widespread backlash over his directives to downgrade certain felonies in a major speech, the source told the Post. It is unclear if he plans to retract any of his orders. 

Meanwhile, overall crime in New York City is up 30 percent compared to the same time last year, with robbery up by 25 percent and felony assault up by nearly five percent. 

Embattled District Attorney Alvin Bragg has sought the help of his former boss and drafted a crisis communications to combat the outrage over his soft-on-crime policies

Former Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara

Veteran public relations professional Risa Heller

Bragg has turned to former Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara (left) and veteran public relations professional Risa Heller (right) to address the mounting criticisms he has received after he circulated a day-one memo earlier this month vowing to stop going after some low-level offenses, including subway turnstile jumping, prostitution, and trespassing

Bragg’s speech could be delivered as soon as Wednesday, although a date has not yet been confirmed.

‘We’re looking at different options,’ the source said. 

The woke district attorney was allegedly also ‘talking to senior people in the DA’s office’ and ‘to people who were endorsers and others about moving forward’.  

Neither Heller and Bharara — who has been previously applauded for his crackdown on inside traders and corrupt politicians when he was Manhattan US attorney — immediately responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.   

Meantime, critics are continuing to express their disapproval of Bragg on social media.

‘The Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has made it crystal clear he will not enforce many of the laws on the books. The Governor of New York MUST now immediately remove him from office!’ tweeted Rep. Lee Zeldin.

‘Broken Windows worked to turn New York from the “Rotten Apple” to the safest place in America!’ echoed former Trump advisor Andrew Giuliani. ‘Alvin Bragg is preaching the exact opposite of Broken Windows…God help us all.’

Civil rights attorney Scott Hechinger, commenting on a recent theft at a men’s clothing store in Manhattan, alleged that because of ‘bail reform and new Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s wildly misinterpreted policy memo’ police couldn’t arrest the suspects.

‘Storeowners were understandably horrified,’ he argued.

Meantime, critics are continuing to express their disapproval of Bragg on social media

Meantime, critics are continuing to express their disapproval of Bragg on social media

However, State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs told the Post he believes in the new district attorney and welcomes his speech because ‘the more clarity Bragg can give, the better.’

‘I have confidence in District Attorney Bragg. He knows what he’s doing. He has good intentions. Creating a safe city is his objective,’ Jacobs said.

The chairman also accused Republicans of using Bragg’s Day One memo as a ‘wedge issue’ against Democrats. 

In addition to vowing to stop going after some low-level offenses, the January 3 memo also outlined a number of circumstances in which charges should be downgraded, including certain cases of armed robbery and drug dealing.

Bragg, speaking to the church Sunday, admitted that the tone — or grammar — of his day-one policy memo may have been divisive, but he stood by its spirit. 

‘Part of the discussion that’ been so frustrating the last couple weeks is the suggestion that … I don’t know public safety,’ Bragg said Sunday. ‘The reality is … before I turned 21, I had a semi-automatic weapon pointed at my head, I had a knife to my throat, a homicide victim at my doorstep, and was shot at. I know public safety.’ 

‘You know what happens when you provide housing and employment to those returning from incarceration? Recidivism goes down. So, we started the conversation,’ Bragg said, as reported in the New York Post

‘Maybe I had a comma out of place, maybe I didn’t use the exact right words, but the urgency of now didn’t start the conversation, so we started it.

‘And it may be a long conversation. [I’m] harboring no illusions that the storm will end soon.’

Bragg made the desperate move to devise a crisis communications team after telling his church congregation on Sunday that he's had a 'challenging two weeks' since his start as Manhattan's top prosecutor

Bragg made the desperate move to devise a crisis communications team after telling his church congregation on Sunday that he’s had a ‘challenging two weeks’ since his start as Manhattan’s top prosecutor

The Democrat has said that offenses like marijuana misdemeanors, prostitution, resisting arrest and fare dodging will no longer be prosecuted. He will continue his predecessor Cyrus Vance Jr’s policy of declining to prosecute marijuana possession. 

Robbers wielding guns or other deadly weapons to steal from stores and businesses will be prosecuted only for petty larceny – a misdemeanor – provided no victims were injured and there is no ‘genuine risk of physical harm,’ according to Bragg’s memo. 

Also, convicts who are caught with weapons other than guns will have their charges downgraded to misdemeanors, as long as they are not also charged with more serious offenses, though the felony would normally see crooks jailed for seven years. 

Drug dealers suspected of ‘acting as a low-level agent of a seller’ will only be charged with misdemeanor possession. 

Nearly a dozen lawyers have departed from the DA’s office in the first two weeks of Bragg’s term. All of the departures are cases of prosecutors quitting, as Bragg has yet to fire anyone. 

Overall, crime has gone up 30 percent in citywide through that same date. 

There have been eight murders in New York City so far since January 1, up from six at the same time in 2021. Robbery is up by 25 percent and felony assault is up by nearly five percent

There have been eight murders in New York City so far since January 1, up from six at the same time in 2021. Robbery is up by 25 percent and felony assault is up by nearly five percent 

There have been eight murders in New York City so far since January 1, up from six at the same time in 2021. Robbery is up by 25 percent and felony assault is up by nearly five percent.

On Saturday morning at around 9.40am, a 40-year-old woman was pushed in front of a train at the West 42nd Street and Broadway station.

Simon Martial, 61, is charged with the second-degree murder of Michelle Alyssa Go, who lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and worked at Deloitte.

Martial has a history of mental illness and told reporters to ‘go f*** yourself’ as he was walked out of a Midtown precinct on Saturday night, declaring himself ‘God.’

‘Yeah because I’m God,’ he said when asked if he killed Go. ‘Yes I did. I’m God, I can do it.’

He then claimed: ‘She stole my f***ing jacket, that’s why.’ 

The suspect is Simon Martial, 61, pictured in a previous undated mugshot. He has been charged with murder in the Saturday incident

Michelle Alyssa Go, 40, was pronounced dead at the scene

Simon Martial, 61, was arrested after he allegedly shoved Michelle Alyssa Go, 40, right, onto the subway tracks and killed her on Saturday morning

Simon Martial, 61, is charged with second-degree murder after the Saturday morning incident. He is seen Saturday night leaving the Midtown precinct

Simon Martial, 61, is charged with second-degree murder after the Saturday morning incident. He is seen Saturday night leaving the Midtown precinct

On Sunday, January 9, Kristal Bayron-Nieves, 19, was killed as she worked the night shift at a Burger King in East Harlem. 

Police have arrested Winston Glynn, a homeless Jamaican immigrant who previously worked at the same Burger King location.

The 19-year-old cashier handed Glynn $100, but he demanded more money, police say.

Bayron-Nieves crouched down to try and open a second cash register drawer, but had no key. That is when Glynn fired a single shot and fled, grabbing the injured Burger King manager’s phone on his way out. 

Glynn’s criminal record includes at least four prior arrests, most recently in November 2021, when he was charged with menacing with a weapon.

A spokesperson for the Queens District Attorney told DailyMail.com on Friday that Glynn was released from jail on his own recognizance because the offense he was charged with is an A misdemeanor, which ‘is not bail eligible.’     

Kristal Bayron-Nieves, 19, was shot dead as she worked the night shift on January 9. She was allegedly crouching down to try to get the gunman more money from a second register

Kristal Bayron-Nieves, 19, was shot dead as she worked the night shift on January 9. She was allegedly crouching down to try to get the gunman more money from a second register

Police arrested Winston Glynn, a 30-year-old homeless man, in connection with the murder

Police arrested Winston Glynn, a 30-year-old homeless man, in connection with the murder

Police say Glynn had worked at the same Burger King as the victim between April 2020 and December 2020, more than a year before she was hired. Above, Glynn in his work uniform

Police say Glynn had worked at the same Burger King as the victim between April 2020 and December 2020, more than a year before she was hired. Above, Glynn in his work uniform



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