NYC’s Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg says city ‘in crisis’ as shootings surge 30% year to date
New York City’s Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg reiterated clarifications related to the controversial memo he submitted to his office earlier this year, and said the city was “really in crisis” as shootings spiked nearly 30% year-to-date.
Bragg, who took office in January, spoke Tuesday as part of a virtual speaker series hosted by Coro New York Leadership Center, and largely discussed his career and path toward DA. He also took questions from attendees, including one who asked about the memo that Bragg had released to his staff just days after beginning his tenure.
The former federal prosecutor previously acknowledged that the memo “left the wrong impression” about his policy plans and added that it “left many New Yorkers justifiably concerned.” He then released a letter to staff on Friday further clarifying and outlining new plans for how certain policies should be addressed.
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“I take accountability for that, not the kind of having the appropriate kind of scaffolding and context around some of the things,” he told the group on Tuesday.
He added that he and his office needed “to do a better job” of pointing to the data, so people can understand “not only is that the sky won’t fall, it’s that we look at what our counterparts have been doing, and you look at the relative incarceration rates and then the safety rates. And you can see we can, we can do these and implement these changes and be safe, if not safer. ”
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Bragg kicked off the event speaking about guns, which he called his “number one priority.”
“We’re really in crisis,” he said, noting that domestic violence and hate crimes have seen upticks. He previously said his office was taking extra steps to address the issues, such as devoting additional resources to combat hate crimes and enlisting the office’s longtime prosecutors to act as coordinators for gun violence prevention efforts.
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The New York Police Department (NYPD) released its most recent statistics on Monday, showing that shootings and shooting victims had jumped 29.7% year-to-date as of Sunday, compared to the same time as last year. There were at least 131 people shot as of Sunday, compared to the 101 people wounded at the same point in 2021.
Meanwhile, hate crimes had jumped 23.8% year-to-date as of Sunday, the NYPD said.
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Gadget Clock’ Jeremy Copas and Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.