Manhattan DA Reverses Policies Amid Backlash Over ‘Soft On Crime’ Approach

(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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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.

US President Joe Biden's motorcade drive past New York Police Department officers near the NYPD Headquarters in New York on February 3, 2022. - President Joe Biden wades into the politically treacherous issue of crime and guns with a trip Thursday to New York, where recent shootings of police have highlighted a growing fear of violent disorder in America's big cities. (Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP) (Photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden’s motorcade drive past New York Police Department officers near the NYPD Headquarters in New York on February 3, 2022. (YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

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’)

Widow of slain New York Police Department Officer Jason Rivera, Dominique Luzuriaga, slammed Bragg for not keeping the city safe during her husband’s funeral service.

“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.”