Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg scrapped two policies Friday following immense public backlash as the city sees a rise in violent crime.
Bragg appeared to deflect blame onto his staff in his memo released Friday, noting his Jan. 3 memo was meant to provide “framework” with which his office should follow.
“As I emphasized in my remarks to the office, you were hired for your keen judgment, and I want you to use that judgment – and experience – in every case,” Bragg wrote.
Under the new memo, Bragg said commercial robberies committed with a gun “will be charged as a felony” regardless of if the gun “is operable, loaded, or a realistic imitation.”
Robberies committed at knifepoint or with another weapon will also be charged as a felony, according to the memo. Bragg also said “people walking the streets with guns will be prosecuted and held accountable” and that the “default in gun cases is a felony prosecution.”
“Violence against police officers will not be tolerated,” the memo continued. “We will prosecute any person who harms or attempts to harm a police officer.”
Prior to the changes, Bragg’s initial memo said armed robberies would be treated as petty larceny, a misdemeanor, if no victim was seriously injured and there was no “genuine risk of physical harm.” (RELATED: NYC Mayor Eric Adams Blames Rise In Violence On America’s ‘Fixation With Guns’)
WATCH: Widow of @NYPDnews officer Jason Rivera slams @ManhattanDA though not by name: “We are not safe anymore. Not even the members of the service. I know you were tired of these laws, especially the ones from the new DA. I hope he’s watching you speak through me right now.” pic.twitter.com/zHPQ1scMgy
— Jackson Richman (@jacksonrichman) January 28, 2022
“The system continues to fail us,” Luzuriaga said. “We are not safe anymore, not even the members of the service. I know you were tired of these new laws, especially the ones from the new DA. I hope he’s watching you speak through me right now.”