Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the same DA behind one of former President Donald Trump’s current legal battles, has finally reversed course and arrested seven of the illegal immigrants involved in the horrific assault of two New York Police Department officers who were responding to a disturbance call in Times Square. Originally, those individuals had been released without bail.
As could be expected, much outrage resulted from the news that DA Bragg’s office had let the illegal immigrants allegedly involved in the attacks be released without bail. Many, particularly on the right, argued that the attack was horrifying and should have resulted, at the very least, in the illegal immigrants being held in jail and charged.
Bragg, however, said that the evidence his office had at the time was not enough to charge them. He said, “In Manhattan, we don’t tolerate or accept assaults on police officers. I watched the tape this week. Despicable behavior. It sickened me and outraged me.” He added, “While the video is shocking and disturbing, in order to secure convictions in a court of law, it is essential that we conclusively identify each defendant.”
Continuing, DA Bragg attempted to frame the decision to release them without bail as virtuous and careful. He said, “In a court of law, our profound obligation is to make sure we have right people charged with the right crimes. I don’t think New Yorkers want to charge the wrong person.” Left out was whether there is a “profound obligation” to keep New Yorkers safe from illegal immigrants assaulting police officers.
However, he’s since found enough evidence and so reversed course, charging seven of the individuals involved in the attack. Announcing that in a press conference, he said, “A grand jury has returned an indictment on seven individuals for their roles and assault on two police officers in Times Square on January 27. This assault as it did too many of you sickened me and outraged me. We all rely on our members of the NYPD every day, as I said, to keep us safe and keep this the safest big city in America is a lifelong New Yorker. I do not tolerate attacks on our police officers. And certainly I do not as Manhattan district attorney.”
He then described how the necessary amount of evidence was gathered, saying, “Today’s indictment follows a painstaking joint investigation between the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office involving a number of investigative steps. Video some of what you’ve seen in the public forum, additional video body worn cameras, interviews and a number of covert, investigative law enforcement steps that we’re not at liberty to discuss. The level of review was meticulous because it must be it must be because that is the work we do day in and day out to present cases in a court of law. We have to ensure that we identified and charged those individuals actually committed criminal acts in this matter. The only thing worse than failing to bring perpetrators to justice would be to ensnare innocent people in the criminal justice system. Based on our thorough investigation, I stand here today confident that we have identified the roles of every person who broke the law and participated in this heinous attack.”
Next, after describing what the seven charged individuals were caught on video doing that made charges against them appropriate, DA Bragg asked for the public’s help in identifying two other individuals involved. He said, showing images of them, “Again, we know from these stills it’s very challenging to identify persons but one of our hopes today and one of the reasons we’re here today is the totality of this that the aggregate hopefully will help the public help us to locate individuals. The second individual shown in the black puffer jacket. This heads were turned down with a cap on . . . So in the aggregate, we hope that being here today, one just to let you know what the charges are, but also side by side with the charges with this conduct, very serious charges, conduct, to hopefully to enlist the public’s support. To that end, let me give a phone number with anyone with information can call it’s 212-335-9040.”
Mayor Eric Adams then spoke after DA Bragg and said that the attack should not be used to smear the city’s illegal immigrant population. He said, “We are going to pursue anyone that commits a crime if they are long standing New Yorkers, or there are new arrivals. And that’s what we’re doing. But in no way should we give any indicator that the overwhelming number of migrants and asylum seekers are law-abiding. And they’re pursuing the American dream . . . [the] district attorney’s office and the NYPD will partner with each other to pursue those who break the laws in our city.”
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