ICYMI, the start of the new year saw a new government for the City of New York assumed the reigns of power. The new District Attorney for Manhattan is Alvin Bragg. Yes, the job Adam Schiff, Nora Levin, Arthur Branch and Jack McCoy held on Law and Order. Mr. Bragg ran on some sort of a "compassion for criminals" platform. His "Day One" policy memo to his ADA's had the following points:
-Robbers wielding guns or other deadly weapons to steal from stores and businesses will be prosecuted only for petty larceny - a misdemeanor - provided no victims were injured and there is no 'genuine risk of physical harm.'
-Convicts who are caught with weapons other than guns will have their charges downgraded to misdemeanors, as long as they are not also charged with more serious offenses. The felony would normally see crooks jailed for seven years.
-Burglars who loot residential storage areas, parts of homes that are not 'accessible to a living area' and businesses located in mixed-use buildings, will be prosecuted for a minor class D felony, where they would normally face class B and class C charges punishable by up to 25 and 15 years in prison respectively.
-Drug dealers suspected of 'acting as a low-level agent of a seller' will only be charged with misdemeanor possession.
-Offenses like marijuana misdemeanors, prostitution, resisting arrest and fare dodging will no longer be prosecuted.
Let's step back for a moment and look at how things are supposed to work. The legislative branch (State Assembly, City Council, etc.) pass laws that define unacceptable social conduct. The executive branch is supposed to zealously enforce those laws uniformly by using the police to investigate complaints, gather evidence, arrest suspects and present the suspects and evidence to the District Attorney's office to be prosecuted.
The District Attorney does have some "prosecutorial discretion" to decline to prosecute where the DA believes the case is not winnable, or there are insufficient resources able to be devoted to get a conviction, things like that. All that being said, for a DA to blanket downgrade or ignore laws is an usurpation of power, and is basically telling the legislative branch to eff off.
Mr. Bragg is also indirectly telling criminals to terrorize the city as they see fit. This is not an unforeseeable result of the "defund the police" movement. Mr. Bragg has also indirectly told the good people of New York he doesn't give a shit about you. Citizens and businesses are now expected to let bad people take their money and possessions, then meekly say, "Thank you sir, would you like some more?"
How do I know what will happen? Up until 1993 or so, New York was a shithole. Citizens were not safe, crime was rampant. You carried two wallets, one with your ID, cards and cash, then a second wallet with $40-50 in it to give up when (not if) you were robbed. When Rudy Giuliani took over as Mayor, he instituted a "broken windows" model of policing. This means if a police officer saw you do a minor crime (breaking a window, jumping a turnstile), you were arrested. Not ignored or detained and given a warning. You see, a turnstile jumper didn't just steal the subway fare, he most likely assaulted and robbed several people while riding the trains to where they were going, which probably was to something like rob a bodega or do a drug deal. If he's arrested and taken to the police station for jumping the turnstile, the other bad stuff he would have done didn't happen because the guy was in a cell instead of continuing to run loose. With this type of policing, crime of all types plummeted and the city became safe to walk the streets.
As Giuliani's successors (Bloomberg, De Blasio. and now Adams) have each progressively departed from Giuliani's methods, NY is once again a shit hole. With policies like this now in place, A-B testing has clearly indicated that the skids to accelerate for the inevitable downhill slide are now thoroughly greased.
To explain the wording for the title, Mr. Bragg openly campaigned that he was going to do this, and he still got 83.7% of the vote. Now, are the people who voted for Mr. Bragg in agreement with him and okay with his policies, or did they just pull the "D" lever, I don't know. The only thing I do know is it's nigh impossible to get a U-Haul or moving truck to go from NY to anywhere else, just like California, and other "deep red" states. 2020 Migration Report by North American Van Lines. So we know that the people who are fed up with the crime, high taxes and high cost of living are moving to where those issues aren't.
So for everyone who voted for this DA, your permission slip to act shocked (SHOCKED! I say!) is hereby revoked. You made this bed, now sleep in it.