The New York (Manhattan) District Attorney sure has earned a national name for himself. He has become known as the DA that let’s criminals loose on a revolving door. They commit crimes, multiple times, while the DA gives them a free get-out-of-jail card. This DA has earned the distinction of HOW NOT-TO-PUT-AWAY BAD PEOPLE. Now, to top it all, he has dedicated himself to persecuting innocent people.
The Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg, has managed to top his national ill-reputation as a soft-on-crime prosecutor by pursuing charges against a bodega worker who tried to defend himself from a violent criminal. Within the context of the DC Comics universe, this would be known as Bizarro World.
As the first Black man to head the Manhattan DA’s office, Bragg brought out his personal experience of facing the law from the other side, including having a gun pointed at him by the police. Of particular interest, it was his desire to de-incarcerate Rikers Island (https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/voters-to-elect-new-manhattan-da-will-be-just-the-4th-person-to-hold-the-office-in-80-years/).
I am not sure what is going on inside Mr. Bragg’s head, but he has caused a lot of confusion as to why his office is being easy on real criminals, while trying to incarcerate people who are just trying to do the right thing. Case in point: A store worker was arrested for defending himself from a hardened criminal.
To understand better, let us go back to the date in question. On July 1, 2022, at 11:05 PM, NYPD officers responded to a 911 call about a disturbance at a bodega, in the Harlem section of Manhattan (http://web.archive.org/web/20220702234124/https://nypost.com/2022/07/02/nyc-bodega-worker-arrested-for-fatal-stabbing-over-chips-cops/). Cops arrested Jose Alba (the bodega worker) for stabbing Austin Simon to death. Simon had attacked Alba in retaliation to a perceived disrespectful act from Alba towards Simon’s romantic partner. Against all logical reasons, Alba was charged with murder.
Now, you would think that a hot-topic arrest like this would give DA Bragg pause to even consider a case like this to even go to trial. Never the less, Bragg managed to convince a judge to impose a bond of $500,000, despite the fact that a video indicates that Alba was clearly defending himself (https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ny-bodega-stabbing-harlem-self-defense-jose-alba-austin-simon-20220706-zmwttfzqgfbshlogmeo53mddfm-story.html).
Meanwhile, what about the deceased, Simon? Looking at the NYS Corrections inmate-lookup feature (https://nysdoccslookup.doccs.ny.gov/), Simon’s name appears under two different convictions. First, under DIN # 11R2442, he was incarcerated on July 15, 2011, for ATTEMPTED ASSAULT in the 2ND DEGREE. Having spent some time in prison, you would think that he would have learned his lesson. However, under DIN # 16A3995, it shows that Simon was imprisoned (again) on October 6, 2016 for the crime of (actual) ASSAULT in the 2ND DEGREE. This guy had a problem.
Now, back to DA Bragg. Since the beginning of his current position, he has instituted a series of policies that, at first glance, can be a good thing for the community. His stated goal is to reduce recidivism (https://www.manhattanda.org/manhattan-district-attorney-alvin-bragg-releases-comprehensive-reforms-to-deliver-safety-and-justice-for-all/). That is all good-and-all, but this policy has created a revolving-door where criminals are arrested, immediately released, re-arrested, immediately released, re-re-arrested, etc, etc. Sometimes, criminals are not arrested, at all.
As for Alba, on July 7, 2022, he managed to negotiate his release on a $50,000 bond. Certain conditions had to be met, such as wearing an ankle monitor, and surrendering his passport (https://nypost.com/2022/07/07/judge-lowers-bail-on-nyc-bodega-worker-judge-lowers-bail-on-nyc-bodega-clerk-jose-alba-charged-with-murder-in-self-defense-casecharged-with-murder-in-self-defense-case/). He is free, for now, just waiting for DA Bragg to make a decision on whether to continue with this insane charge. What is ridiculous, in this case, is that Bragg has not charged Simon’s girlfriend for stabbing Alba multiple times during the attack.
A summary of the case: Woman goes to the bodega, and cannot pay for the item(s) for her child. Bodega worker (Alba) extracts the item(s) from the child for lack of payment, and woman storms off. She returns with her man (Simon), and he violently attacks Alba. Alba kills Simon in self-defense. Open-and-Shut case.
Mr. Bragg, the whole city, the whole state, the whole COUNTRY is waiting for you to do the right thing. DROP THE CHARGES. By pursuing a case against Mr. Alba, you are telling the public that criminals have the real power, and that innocent civilians should just cower way.
Alvin...do the right thing, man!