NYC police union says Manhattan DA Bragg 'emboldened' criminals, cops 'not safe' after Biden visit

Alvin Bragg is on the wrong side of the fence: Former NYPD lieutenant

Darrin Porcher unravels how NYPD Officer Jason Rivera’s murder happened on ‘Fox News Live.’

Criminals across New York City were “emboldened” by the soft-on-crime memo released by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in the weeks before the deadly shooting of NYPD Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, the leader of a prominent police union told Fox News Digital. 

“His message was sent to the criminal element. And this is why these cops were shot,” Paul DiGiacomo, president of New York City’s Detectives’ Endowment Association, said during a phone interview Thursday, “because you’re sending a message out there that there are no consequences for committing crimes and there are no consequences for resisting arrest.” 

“Alvin Bragg thought he was doing what was popular to do, and it blew up in his face,” DiGiacomo added. 

So far this year, six NYPD officers have been shot, two of them fatally. Just hours before Mora’s funeral this week, an off-duty rookie cop was shot on his way into work in Queens during an attempted carjacking. The suspects, an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old, were ordered held without bail Thursday. 

“I believe they feel 100% emboldened,” DiGiacomo told Fox News Digital. “And not only are the police in danger, but the public is in grave danger as well. And there are children being shot by stray bullets, innocent people being shot all over the city and members of the NYPD being shot.”

Alvin Bragg, Manhattan district attorney, speaks with supporters on election night in New York, Nov. 2, 2021.
(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

“When the police are not safe, the public is not safe,” he said. “This all has been going on for quite some time, and we told our elected officials that this was going to happen. We didn’t know when or where, but we knew it was going to happen because of the climate that they put out to the criminal element.” 

Besides cops being shot, other high-profile crime under Mayor Eric Adams’ one-month tenure includes an 11-month-old girl shot in the face by stray bullets in the Bronx, a 19-year-old Burger King worker shot to death in Harlem and a woman shoved to her death in front of a subway in Times Square.   

During a visit to New York City Thursday, President Biden discussed his administration’s anti-gun violence strategy, which focuses on stopping the flow of illegal guns, bolstering law enforcement and increasing funding for community policing. The president, however, made no mention of Bragg or the district attorney’s widely criticized Jan. 3 memo to his assistant prosecutors.

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    President Biden speaks at an event to discuss gun violence strategies, at police headquarters, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in New York. Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y. is seated right.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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    President Biden speaks at an event with New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., to discuss gun violence strategies, at police headquarters, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in New York.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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    President Biden speaks at an event with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, seated left, and Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., seated right, to discuss gun violence strategies, at police headquarters, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in New York.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In the memo sent to staff, Bragg instructed prosecutors to only seek pretrial detention in “very serious cases” and included a list of low-level offenses his office would no longer prosecute.

Those included resisting arrest, skipping subway fare, prostitution, marijuana offenses, and minor traffic infractions or operating without a license. Bragg also directed assistant district attorneys to reduce armed robbery cases to petit larcenies, barring certain circumstances. Met with backlash, he was forced to later clarify that his office would still prosecute gunpoint robberies and illegal firearm possession. 

“He’s not God. The penal law is the penal law, and the law is the law,” DiGiacomo said of Bragg’s memo. “I’m concerned for the members of the NYPD safety under the current guidelines, it’s very difficult for members of the service to do their job.”

“There’s many police officers that were killed in the line of duty over people trying to fare-beat and low-level crimes on the subways. So those police officers should not have to die in vain,” DiGiacomo said, explaining the danger of Bragg refusing to prosecute those who skip subway turnstiles. “Many of your fare-beaters are career felons and are going into the system to commit other crimes.”  

Speaking at her husband’s funeral last week, Rivera’s widow, Dominique Luzuriaga Rivera, called out the new district attorney and a system that “continues to fail us.” Bragg was in the audience at the time, and in response to the eulogy, told Fox News Digital that his office will “vigorously prosecute cases of violence against police and work to prevent senseless acts like this from ever happening again.”

DiGiacomo said Bragg was backtracking after two young cops were killed and thousands of law enforcement from around the country flooded into Manhattan to attend their funerals.

“It’s been a climate that’s been going on since the de Blasio administration,” DiGiacomo said, “and now to compound it even more, you have a district attorney in Manhattan that says he’s not going to prosecute certain crimes. And he emboldened the criminal element.” 

Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has the power under state law to remove certain officials, including district attorneys, said Tuesday she would keep Bragg for now and decided to “cut him some slack” during his first few weeks in office. DiGiacomo argued that Hochul was also culpable herself for rising crime, as she has so far failed to enact changes to the state’s bail reform law, despite calls by Adams and others to do so. 

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