Newly elected NY DA orders prosecutors to stop seeking incarceration for several crimes including armed robbery

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NEW YORK, NY- According to a set of progressive policies made public on Tuesday, January 4th, Manhattan’s new District Attorney has ordered his prosecutors to stop seeking incarceration for certain crimes and to downgrade felony charges in cases including armed robbery and selling drugs.

In his first memo to staff, Alvin Bragg said that his office will “not seek a carceral sentence” except with homicides and a handful of other cases, including domestic violence felonies, some sex crimes, and public corruption.

The memo reads, in part:

“This rule may be excepted only in extraordinary circumstances based on a holistic analysis of the facts, criminal history, victim’s input (particularly in cases of violence or trauma), and any other information available.”

Bragg reportedly stated that assistant district attorneys must also now keep in mind the “impacts of incarceration,” including whether it really does increase public safety, potential future barriers to convicts involving housing and employment, the financial cost of prison, and the racial disparities over who gets time.

Newly elected NY DA orders prosecutors to stop seeking incarceration for several crimes including armed robbery

For example, in cases where prosecutors do seek to put an offender in prison, the request can be for no more than 20 years for a determinate sentence, which is a fixed sentence that cannot be reviewed or changed by a parole board.

The memo stated:

“The Office shall not seek a sentence of life without parole.”

Under current state law, life without parole is reserved for the most heinous of offenders, including murderers, terrorists, serial killers, cop killers, and those who kill children younger than 14 during a sex crime or torture.

Bragg’s memo also detailed the following instructors for prosecutors to reduce charges filed by police in various cases:

Armed robbers who use guns or other deadly weapons to stick up stores and other businesses will be prosecuted only for petty larceny, a misdemeanor, provided no victims were seriously injured and there’s no “genuine risk of physical harm” to anyone.

Armed robbery, a class B felony, would typically be punishable by a maximum of 25 years in prison, while petty larceny subjects offenders to up to 364 days in jail and a $1,000 fine;

Convicted criminals caught with weapons other than guns will have those felony charges downgraded to misdemeanors unless they’re also charged with more serious offenses.

Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a class D felony, is punishable by up to 7 years behind bars;

Burglars who steal from residential storage areas, parts of homes that aren’t “accessible to a living area” and businesses located in mixed-use buildings will be prosecuted for a low-level class D felony that only covers break-ins instead of for more serious crimes.

Those more serious crimes, class B and class C felonies, would be punishable by up to 25 and up to 15 years in prison respectively; and

Drug dealers believed to be “acting as a low-level agent of a seller” will be prosecuted only for misdemeanor possession.

Also, suspected dealers will only be prosecuted on felony charges if they’re also accused of more serious crimes or are actually caught in the act of selling drugs. That felony would mean facing up to seven years behind bars.

Bragg added to the memo:

“ADAs should use their judgment and experience to evaluate the person arrested, and identify people: who suffer from mental illness; who are unhoused; who commit crimes of poverty; or who suffer from substance use disorders.”

He wrote:

“Charges should be brought consistent with the goal of providing services to such individuals and leverage during plea negotiations should not be a factor in this decision.”

The moves by Bragg sparked immediate outrage from police who said the police will only lead to more crime and shootings. The head of the NYPD Detectives’ Endowment Association said in a statement:

“Bragg gives criminals the roadmap to freedom from prosecution and control of our streets.”

In a prepared statement, DEA president Paul DiGiacomo said:

“In Bragg’s Manhattan, you can resist arrest, deal drugs, obstruct arrests, and even carry a gun and get away with it.”

The head of the NYPD’s largest union, the Police Benevolent Association, also expressed “serious concerns” about the message “these types of policies send to both police officers and criminals on the street.” PBA president Patrick Lynch added:

“Police officers don’t want to be sent out to enforce laws that the district attorney’s won’t prosecute. And there are already too many people who believe that they can commit crimes, resist arrest, interfere with police officers and face zero consequences.”

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Police-defunded, Democrat-run New York City nears 500 murders for the first time in ten years

December 31st, 2021

NEW YORK, NY – If violent crime continues to progress through the end of 2021 as it has, the city will see 500 murders for the first time in a decade.

The City of New York has seen violent crime increase significantly over the course of the last year, mainly driven by gun violence according to data from the New York Police Department.

Several of those violent acts with firearms have resulted in people losing their lives.

As of December 26th, the New York Police Department reports the city has seen 479 homicides and that was with only five days left in the year.

If that upward trend has continued through the end of the week, the city will meet or exceed the grim milestone before 2022 starts.

The last time there were 500 or more homicides in the Big Apple was in 2011 when the New York Police Department worked 515 total cases.

Since that year, homicides had generally been on a decline, going to 419 in 2012 then to the 300’s except for 2017 where they worked 292 murders.

The decline in homicides ended in 2020 when the murder count rose for the first time in a while to 462.

The upward trend has continued through 2021 which has already passed last year’s total.

Throughout the month of December, the New York Police Department has worked 41 homicides compared to a total of 24 during the same time frame last year.

The rise in violence is a trend that Democratic New York Mayor-Elect Eric Adams will be forced to address immediately.

To address the issue in New York, Adams plans on going back in time and reinstating the broken windows theory as well as bringing back the anti-gun unit which was disbanded by outgoing Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio following the death of George Floyd.

Among bringing back the broken windows theory and the anti-gun unit, Adams has promised many other strategies on curbing the violence which is listed on his website. One of the first items mentioned in his approach on targeting gun violence in the city:

“The number one driver of crime spikes in the city right now is gun violence. We must reverse this troubling trend, fast by using coordinated tactics, smart policing, and cooperation between agencies and with the community.”

First and foremost on his list is by:

“Reinvent the anti-crime unit as an anti-gun unit, hiring officers with the skills and temperament for this kind of intense, on the ground police work by removing overly aggressive cops and by targeting known shooters with precision policing tactics.”

Additionally, Adams intends on using intelligence-led policing to work towards identifying violent crime trends and shutting them down before they get out of control. According to his site:

“By using real-time governing tools and tracking crime trends to become predictive, we can quickly shift NYPD resources from one community to another to reverse bad trends, much the way the NYPD uses COMPstat. For instance, we will regularly shift detectives and other officers from low-crime areas to crime hot-spots.”

While it will take time to determine if Adams will be able to reverse the violent trends in his city with his policies, only time will be able to tell.

One thing is for certain if Adams cannot turn around this violent trend his political career in the Big Apple may be limited to one term.

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

It’s happening: New York’s “bail reform” leads to spate of violent crimes by repeat offenders in NYC

The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the author, a retired police chief and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

NEW YORK CITY- Someday when 2021 gets a title of “Year of” something…it likely will be along the lines of the “Year of the Criminal.”

In major cities across the U.S. such as LA, Chicago, and New York, that is a pretty accurate description of 2021. Let’s put our focus on the Big Apple, New York City.

The “City That Never Sleeps” couldn’t sleep this year, what with crime running rampant, courtesy of a combination of cowardly judges, liberal bail reform laws passed by far-left do-gooders in Albany, and a police department weary of budget cuts, retirements and officers outright quitting.

Not to mention  being micro-managed on a daily basis by the outgoing communist-sympathizing mayor, Bill de Blasio.

Perhaps nothing had the most obvious effect on crime in New York than the absurd bail-reform laws passed in 2019, which basically removed all discretion from judges in setting bail on pretty much all misdemeanors and a good chunk of so-called non-violent felonies, the New York Post reports.

To make matters worse, some far-left lunatic judges took it a step further, cutting defendants loose in far more serious cases, including violent felonies. How about some examples?

In October, 21-year-old college student Saiko Koma was shot in the head in what is believed to be a case of mistaken identity by a reputed gang member, 17-year-old Steven Mendez, the Post reported.

So bad a guy is Mendez that he was once arrested for pulling a gun on his own mother. In 2020, Mendez was arrested in connection with a violent armed robbery. Instead, he was out on the street when he gunned down Koma in a botched gang hit.

Koma’s despondent mother told the Post, “The judge let him go, but I’m not letting [it] go. My son will get justice. This is crazy.”

Koma’s father slammed the judge who cut Mendez loose.

“What is wrong with this judge? If this was the judge’s son, or his nephew or a relative, he would not let him go. The city, the mayor. If this was his kid, they would not let him go. They do not care about us.”

Mendez had been arrested for first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, and felony gun possession charges in connection with the July 17, 2020, armed robbery in The Bronx.

Mendez was prosecuted as a “youthful offender” and in May, Supreme Court Justice Denis Boyle granted him probation over prosecutors’ objections, who wanted him sent to prison.

But judges get absolute immunity and cannot be sued, unlike police officers. Mendez could have been locked up for four years for the robbery. Instead, he was free to kill an innocent college student.

How about another frequent flyer? Isaac Rodriguez, a serial shoplifter has been arrested 50 times…this year, yet he keeps getting released. Twenty-two years old, he currently has 23 open cases In Queens, all part of a rap sheet a mile long consisting of 74 arrests since 2015, court records show.

According to authorities, Rodriguez likes him some Walgreens, having hit one in Jackson Heights 37 times, but has hit a number of other retailers where he steals everything from baby formula to Victoria’s Secret merchandise.

Under New York’s “get out of jail free” criminal justice system, the larceny and stolen property charges don’t qualify for bail.

“I don’t know how these [cases] have been handled, but clearly there has been no consequence,” according to one police source who spoke to the Post.

It took an assault in a June 7 gang attack on a 39-year-old man that Rodriguez was finally locked up…for now. He’s currently being held at Riker’s Island on $10,000 bail.

How about a burglar? That’s Juan DelValle, a serial burglar who was so good at avoiding jail time that NYPD cops started calling him “Teflon.”

He’s “only” been arrested 30 times, and has five open cases in Manhattan and Brooklyn, however that didn’t stop a judge from releasing him without bail on August 15 on the most recent prior burglary case. Prosecutors had asked for a $10,000 bail. Sorry, no dice…not in New York.

While on the lam, DelValle was being sought in connection with more than a dozen other burglaries after police found 20 laptops, a stolen 9mm handgun and illegal drugs at his apartment in a taxpayer-funded Brooklyn public housing project.

NYPD officers finally picked up DelValle at the end of August on felony burglary charges, and he is currently locked up, being held on $10,000 bail, according to court records.

Child molester? New York’s got some of them too and once again a judge let one loose on the streets after he was pinched on a burglary case. After being freed, the 31-year-old homeless man, Raymond Wilson broke into a 10-year-old girl’s bedroom this past June and “only” rubbed his genitals on her.

Wilson, another frequent flyer but a rookie compared to some of the others mentioned, had been arrested on burglary charges at least a dozen times.

“The victim felt something slimy on her feet and noticed that the defendant was rubbing his penis on her toes,” said Manhattan prosecutor Meghan McNulty in court.

“The victim screamed for her parents but no one was home except her younger sister, who was sleeping in another room,” McNulty said.

Only one month before that incident, Wilson was arrested and charged with third-degree burglary in a separate case, but due to New York’s woke bail policies, he had to be released because judges aren’t permitted to set bail on a third-degree burglary crime.

Detectives were able to track Wilson through DNA obtained from a water bottle he left behind; he is currently being held on $500,000 bail at Rikers Island on the sex abuse charges.

Back to a gangbanger, this time Alberto Ramirez. Bronx Judge Denis Boyle lowered his bail on a gun case, and he promptly then used it to kill a father of two.

We’ve raised this question before for the anti-gun nuts who think legislating against legal gun owners will prevent crime. If you’re not going to enforce the damn laws already on the books, what is the point of more laws? Other than to punish law-abiding gun owners?

Oh by the way, Boyle was the same judge who had cut Mendez loose, as a point of information. Boyle freed Ramirez, 17, on March 2, lowering his bail from $75,000 to $10,000 despite objections from Bronx prosecutors.

On May 16, according to prosecutors, Ramirez decided to fire randomly into a crowd on a rival gang’s turf, with one of his bullets striking and killing 34-year-old Eric Velasquez, an innocent bystander.

One anonymous police source told the Post, “How many bites of the apple does someone get before someone gets killed?”

Ramirez was arrested on June 7, and is still currently being held without bail on murder, manslaughter, and weapons charges.

How about someone who shoves a NYPD cop onto subway tracks? Ricardo Hernandez did that on April 17, shoving an Asian NYPD officer onto tracks in Queens, leading to him being charged with three hate crimes. So, he was clearly locked up right? Not so much.

“My hands are tied because under the new bail rules, I have absolutely no authority or power to set bail on this defendant for this alleged offense,” said Queens Supreme Court Justice Louis Nock at Hernandez’s arraignment.

Hernandez, 32, had at least a dozen arrests on his record, however shoving an NYPD officer onto subway tracks is apparently not worthy of cash bail.

Hernandez walked up to the officer, who was undercover on the N train platform in Dutch Kills and said, “I will fuck you up. This is my house.”

The officer was not seriously hurt, but that’s beside the point…he could have been. Hernandez later pleaded guilty to a violation in the case, which was then sealed according to a spokeswoman for the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Even the New York Post and Fox News fell victim to the state’s bogus bail laws on Dec. 8, when the All-American Christmas Tree was set afire by a serial criminal, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

Of course, arson doesn’t warrant a cash bail, so the suspect, Craig Tamanaha was cut loose without bail. He also has a lengthy rap sheet. The Post and Fox are both owned by News Corp.

The state’s bail reform laws have had serious negative consequences, not only in New York City but across the entire state.

While incoming de Blasio replacement Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer has complained about the bail measures, he’s the mayor of New York, with little sway on a statewide basis.

Moreover, Gov. Kathy Hochul, who took over when Andrew Cuomo resigned, appears to be an even more committed leftist than Cuomo was. So it is not likely the Big Apple will get any help from Albany.

In fact, the Post reached out to state lawmakers as well as Hochul this past week, and neither is interested in discussing the issue.

As expected, state court officials defend judges’ “discretion” when setting bail, although in many cases judges have no discretion whatsoever.

“Judges are unique in the criminal justice system, particularly during arraignments, in that with limited information they exercise their discretion in case after case while having to decide what is fair and equitable both for the defendant and society, which at times can seem to be at cross purposes,” said Lucian Chalfen, court spokesman in an email to the Post.

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