The New York Police Department’s first black female commissioner slammed the new Manhattan district attorney’s policies to downgrade serious crimes to felonies and said it could endanger the lives of officers and the public.
Newly appointed commissioner Keechant Sewell sent an email to NYPD officers on Friday saying she’s concerned about the effects of DA Alvin Bragg’s decision to stop prosecuting low-level offenses, make burglary, carrying a weapon and drug dealing felonies and to not ask for bail except in the most serious of cases.
‘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,’ Sewell wrote in the email obtained by the New York Post.
Sewell wrote that among her biggest concerns included Bragg’s refusal to prosecute resisting arrest charges unless they part of a larger felony case.
She feared the decision would ‘invite violence against police officers and will have deleterious effects on our relationship with the communities we protect.’
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell (left) criticized newly elected Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s new criminal reform policies, which she said left officers, businesses and the general public vulnerable to crime
George Soros has funneled millions into the successful campaigns of other progressive district attorneys across the country. He has also been pumping money into a far-left effort to overhaul the criminal justice system which critics say is creating a lawless America
On Monday, Bragg sent out a memo to his staff announcing he ‘will not seek carceral’ sentences for criminals, unless they were guilty of murder or a handful of other crimes he deemed serious enough to warrant prison.
Burglaries will no longer be prosecuted as burglaries if the bandit steals from a storage unit or outdoor property that isn’t connected to a ‘living’ dwelling, and quality-of-life crimes such as prostitution, turnstile jumping, weapons possession (of non-firearms) and marijuana possession won’t be prosecuted at all.
Drug dealers will not be prosecuted for felony crimes unless they commit other offenses on top of drug dealing, and prison should be a ‘last resort’ – despite the mounting number of violent crimes being committed on the streets of New York by repeat offenders who have been let out of jail early.
His sweeping changes also called on prosecutors to ditch felony armed robbery charges and instead charge suspects with petty larceny, a misdemeanor, provided no victims were injured or were at risk of physical harm.
The DA’s office later clarified that it would still prosecute armed robberies involving a gun as a felony.
Sewell said Bragg’s sweeping changes would cause harm to local businesses already reeling from the pandemic and would ‘invite more open-air drug markets and drug use in Manhattan.’
She added that it would also lead to more gun violence and exacerbate quality of life concerns, which have gone up by 59 per cent since 2019.
‘The new charging policies of the Manhattan District Attorney effectively decriminalizes much of the conduct that New Yorkers are asking the police to address,’ Sewell wrote.
Sewell said that while she agreed with Bragg’s hopes for more criminal justice reform in the Big Apple, she argued that the NYPD was already making headway through its community based policing.
Sewell’s criticism comes out of step with new NYC Mayor Eric Adams, who endorsed Bragg and called him ‘a great prosecutor.’
ALVIN BRAGG’S MEMO PROMISING NOT TO JAIL CRIMINALS AND ONLY USE PRISON AS A ‘LAST RESORT’
NYPD unions, New York Republicans and angry residents were left dumbfounded amid growing fears that the crime-ravaged city will experience the same fate as other progressive-run bastions on the West Coast that have been plagued by looting and lawlessness.
‘Why doesn’t Bragg just give the drug dealers business cards telling everyone they’re open for business, what their hours are, and what they charge?’ Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said in a statement on Wednesday.
‘Alvin Bragg’s memo to his staff specifying his prosecution policy will result in more crime and increased shootings.
‘Where there are drugs, there are guns. D.A. Bragg has made himself the police, the judge and the jury.’
Curtis Sliwa, the Republican mayoral candidate who lost to Adams by a landslide, told DailyMail.com on Wednesday: ‘It’s an advertisement for criminals. Come to Manhattan.’
In an earlier appearance on Newsmax, Sliwa said it created an ‘open season’ for criminals and that Adams – who promised to be tough on crime – needed to come down harder on the new DA.
Beware of Eric Adams who says one thing and then immediately embraces the guy who is advertising: ‘come to the borough of Manhattan and commit crime.
Republican Mayoral Candidate Curtis Sliwa
‘Beware of Eric Adams who says one thing and then immediately embraces the guy who is advertising: ‘come to the borough of Manhattan and commit crime.
‘It’s open season.
‘That means smash and grabs, that means shoplifting, armed robbery, somebody can put a gun to your head as a tourist and guess what, he gets a desk appearance ticket.
‘Eric Adams can’t have it both ways.’
The Police Benevolent Association president Patrick J. Lynch, who leads the nearly 24,000-member union, said that has ‘serious concerns’ over the new policies.
‘Police officers don’t want to be sent out to enforce laws that the district attorneys won’t prosecute.
‘There are already too many people who believe that they can commit crimes, resist arrest, interfere with police officers and face zero consequences.’
The Detectives’ Endowment Association released this statement saying he might as well give the criminals business cards
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said he has ‘serious concerns’
The union chief said he hoped that Bragg would sit down with the leaders from his union to discuss the changes.
‘We must all pull together towards one goal: a safer New York City.’
Business leaders are also worried that these new policies could have detrimental effect on Manhattan’s economy.
‘New York City’s quality of life must remain competitive if we are to lure back office workers and tourists,’ Jessica Walker, president of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce said. ‘The district attorney’s stance against prosecuting certain low-level crimes may undermine both the perception and the reality that ours is a safe big city.’
NYGOP Chairman Nick Langworthy called the policy ‘pure insanity’.
‘I fear for the safety of New York residents, businesses owners and tourists. They tried the same reforms in San Francisco that focused on decarceration and what you see very fast is a descent into a free-for-all.’
Richie Greenberg, former mayoral candidate in San Francisco
‘This policy is pure insanity by a Soros-funded, woke DA who is opening the door for even more crime and chaos on New York City streets.
‘This, on top of Democrats’ end to cash bail, will have deadly results and send even more residents, businesses and tourists fleeing.
‘This is a damning reminder that elections have consequences,’ he told DailyMail.com.
Richie Greenberg, a former mayoral candidate in San Francisco who is now spearheading the effort to remove Chesa Boudin, the city’s prosecutor who has abolished cash bail, said he feared for the people of New York.
‘I fear for the safety of New York residents, businesses owners and tourists.
‘They tried the same reforms in San Francisco that focused on decarceration and what you see very fast is a descent into a free-for-all.’
‘Criminals come from all around to prey on businesses and the people of San Francisco,’ he said.
‘Beware of Eric Adams who says one thing and then immediately embraces the guy who is advertising: ‘come to the borough of Manhattan and commit crime’ said Adams’ former opponent, Curtis Sliwa
Crime in New York City is so bad that the Mayor Eric Adams called 911 himself this week after watching two men brawl in the street
Bragg’s memo said he would seek ‘alternatives’ to jail time for misdemeanors, and that some felonies should be downgraded to misdemeanors so that the suspects who commit them can escape custody.
It was a shock to some of those who voted for Adams on his promise that he would crack down on the city’s worsening crime problem.
The new mayor has not commented on the criticism of Bragg’s memo.
On Wednesday, Bragg tried to offer reassurances that he would only let non-violent criminals who stole ‘toothpaste’ or ‘bread’.
‘We will be tough when we need to be, but we will not be seeking to destroy lives through unnecessary incarceration.
‘In practical terms that means: I’ve prosecuted gun cases and if you use a gun to rob a store, or any armed robbery, you will be prosecuted. I’ve prosecuted cases involving assaulting law enforcement, and if you punch a police officer, you will be prosecuted.
‘But if you are houseless with an addiction problem and you steal toothpaste and some bread, you will be diverted for treatment to help break the cycle of recidivism.’
New Mayor Eric Adams (pictured Tuesday) endorsed Bragg for Manhattan prosecutor and claimed on Monday that his policies would help reduce crime
He did not clarify the extent to which the criminals would be prosecuted, or if he would seek jail term for them.
Some expressed concern over Bragg’s ability to unilaterally decide which laws will or will not be enforced. The critics argue prosecutors ‘must be allowed discretion,’ but not the authority to change entire sections of penal code on their own.
Others allege his apparent looser stance on crime is surprising given he grew up in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood in the 1980s, during an endemic time of ‘crack violence’ and ‘crack turf war-related bloodshed’.
The violence extended beyond drug dealers, with many residents sheltering their children in bathtubs to protect them from stray bullets that would shoot through the walls, the New York Post reported.
Critics contend, given Bragg grew up in that time of violence – which was significantly worse than today’s crime levels – that he should want to hold criminals accountable for their actions and protect public order.
New York City is currently experiencing soaring crime rates and an increase in shooting incidents not seen since the mid-2000s
The most recent crime stats put out by the NYPD show that crime continues to tick up in the new year.
Compared to last year major crimes, which include murder, rape, robbery, felony assault and others, have jumped 38 per cent for the week of December 27 to January 2.
There have been fewer murders in that period – five to last year’s 10 during the same period – but grand larceny spiked 84 percent, rape is up 35 percent and robber climbed 21 percent.
Crime is only up about two percent compared to two years ago, but 15 percent higher than last decade.
Critics also argue Bragg’s policies directly conflict with the views and goals of the newly-elected mayor.
However, Adams endorsed Bragg for Manhattan prosecutor and claimed on Monday that his policies would help reduce crime.
Adams was an attractive choice for many voters because of his repeated promises to crack down on crime and bring back plain clothes units to disband gangs and tackle gun violence.
In July 2021 – before they were elected – Bragg and Adams joined famed civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton at the National Action Network rally in New York.
Adams, at the time, said he saw his role as mayor as making ‘Bragg’s job boring’.
‘Prosecution rates is [sic] tied to my educational failure rates, Adams said, according to NewsOne. ‘If I do my job right, then he will have nothing to do in this office.’
Bragg added: ‘The state has the power to take away someone’s liberty. We are going to use that power judiciously and wisely. We’re going to use that for fairness and for safety.’
The first homicide of 2022 in NYC: A woman was stabbed to death near a diner in Astoria, Queens on New Year’s Day at 9pm
Famed civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton (left) and Alvin Bragg (right) celebrate a decade of ‘PoliticsNation With Al Sharpton’ on August 24, 2021 in New York City
Bragg was elected thanks in part to the Color of Change super PAC, a political action committee that received $1million from Democratic super-donor Soros.
Soros has funneled millions into the successful campaigns of other progressive district attorneys across the country.
The billionaire, one of the most prolific Democratic donors, is most known for giving to Presidents Clinton and Obama but he has also been pumping money into a far-left effort to overhaul the criminal justice system which critics say is creating a lawless America.
Among those he backed is Kim Foxx, the State’s Attorney for Cook County, Chicago, where murder is at its highest in nearly 30 years.
In 2020, Soros donated $2million to a PAC that backed Foxx in her re-election campaign. She won the race and has since offered deferred prosecutions and softball deals to criminals.
In 2021, there were more murders in Chicago than in any other year since 1994.
There have been more than 1,000 murders in Cook County, Foxx’s district, this year.
Soros bolstered her re-election campaign by donating to the Illinois Justice and Public Safety PAC.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, left, was propped up by a PAC that Soros gave $2million to. San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin is pictured, right
The PAC spent over $500,000 on materials to damage one of her challengers. It’s a pattern that can be seen in other parts of the country.
He has also donated to PACs that support Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, who is being widely condemned for not cracking down on shoplifters and violent criminals.
Soros has also donated to the campaign of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.
He donated $1.7million to Krasner’s campaign, according to The New York Post.
Soros also donated to Super PACS that prop up Democratic prosecutors and politicians across Republican states.
Republican pundits say he has blood on his hands now for the deaths of innocent people like those killed at the Waukesha Christmas Parade by Darrell Brooks, a career criminal who had been bonded out of jail days earlier for other crimes.
In 2016, Soros pumped $3million into seven local district-attorney campaigns including races in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.